In cities like Denver, Colorado, people still use cars and automobiles more than anything to get around. This is not only limited to individuals and families getting from one place to another but also includes companies who are moving heavy loads. Such a task, therefore, also requires a large vehicle, which is where commercial trucks come in.
While commercial trucks are responsible for the transportation of a good amount of the nation’s cargo, they are also highly prone to figuring in road crashes. In fact, thousands of auto accidents per year are caused directly or indirectly by commercial trucks, with a good percentage of these resulting in fatalities. As a result, the work of any personal injury or truck accident lawyer in Denver focuses on injuries that result from truck accidents.
Because of this, road authorities throughout the country are attempting to put into place measures to reduce the number of truck accidents. This, in turn, involves addressing some of their leading causes.
Here are some of the most common causes of commercial truck accidents:
Fatigue to truck drivers is among the leading causes of truck accidents. Truck drivers, especially those who work on long haul routes, can be made to drive for many hours without a break in between. This is particularly true if the compensation scheme of the trucking company encourages a faster delivery of goods or longer consecutive hours of vehicle operation. When the tiredness and fatigue accumulate, drivers end up losing concentration and focus — and sometimes even end up falling asleep at the wheel — leading to an accident.
Poor driver training
Operating such a big vehicle is not easy, and this requires many hours spent training and studying on how to drive safely. Furthermore, truck drivers are usually asked to meet certain minimum requirements before they are allowed to take on a route.
Unfortunately, not all truck drivers adhere to these. In many instances, a truck accident was the result of a lack of knowledge and experience on the driver’s part regarding how to operate on the road.
In line with this, drivers must also be trained on how to properly maintain the truck to ensure that it is suitable for the road. However, not all drivers are knowledgeable in this aspect, and even if they are, some do not perform maintenance regularly. This results in a poorly maintained truck, which, when combined with an inexperienced driver, is a road accident waiting to happen.
Overspeeding and reckless overtaking
With commercial truck drivers under pressure to make deliveries as quickly as possible, it is quite common for them to drive over the speed limit and overtake carelessly, especially when they are caught in a traffic jam. This greatly increases the possibility of an accident happening, especially if other cars cannot react in time. Overspeeding and careless overtaking are already considered safety hazards for passenger vehicles, and all the more so with large commercial trucks.
However, passenger vehicle drivers may also be guilty of these. This is particularly applicable in cases where a passenger vehicle changes lanes abruptly in front of or near a truck. Because of the size of a commercial truck, there are “no-zones” where the truck driver has limited or no visibility. If a car were to drive in these areas, any mistake could lead to an accident, as the truck driver will not be able to see the car moving, which may result in a hit.