Not only do trucks pose a potential threat to drivers because of their size and weight, but also because trucks have been a frequent source of accidents and fatal injuries. Throughout the past several decade’s state and federal government agencies have come together in an effort to make the trucking industry safer, however, it is still almost a daily occurrence to hear about a truck accident where someone was critically or fatally injured.
What Causes Truck Accidents in Clinton County?
The list of reasons why you may find yourself in an accident with a large truck, semi-trailer, is potentially endless. That is because every truck accident is the result of a unique set of contributing factors all of which may lead to you being involved in an accident. However, despite the endless possibilities, over decades of experience representing those who have been injured in truck accidents, we have seen certain factors that repeatedly show up.
Driver fatigue is one of the biggest contributing factors to an accident with a tractor-trailer, semi-truck, or 18-wheeler. Despite clear and well-established federal guidelines, commercial drivers often drive well past the point when fatigue sets in. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has noted that the longer that a commercial driver is behind the wheel without taking a break to rest, the more likely they are to be involved in an accident.
The braking system on a standard commercial vehicle is vastly more complex and contains many more parts than the braking system on a car, SUV, motorcycle, or van. All of the various components of a tractor trailer’s braking system must be in top shape to be able to bring a fully loaded commercial vehicle weighing several tons to a complete stop. However, failing braking systems in trucks have been a major source of accidents and injuries throughout the trucking industry.
Truck driver prescription use
Truck drivers are people too who all have their own medical histories and medications that they may be required to take on a daily basis. However, if you have ever had to take certain prescriptions you may have noticed that there are often warnings on the side of the bottle, advising people to not operate heavy machinery while they are on this medication. In addition, some medications warn that taking them make the user drowsy. Despite these warnings and perhaps apparent effects, commercial drivers often drive under the influence of medications.
Drivers who change lanes without signaling, tailgaters, and those who come to an abrupt stop in an attempt to aggravate other drivers pose a problem to everyone on the road. Truck drivers are not immune from these behaviors, however, because of the size of their vehicles if a driver is too aggressive, they can cause significant accidents, which often involve multiple vehicles.
Unfamiliarity with the road and surroundings
Not every road we drive on is in a straight line. In fact, most roads have curves, and some of them can be hard to navigate at high speeds. Drivers who are new to an area or are driving an 80,000 vehicle in a new location for the first time may not be aware of all the nuances in the road. In addition, drivers who do not take the time to accommodate themselves with their surroundings may find that they miss a sign or improperly make a turn causing an accident.
Construction site accidents are another large contributing factor to trucking accidents. These accidents have been caused by truckers who miss the signs advising them to slow down, therefore, not providing them enough time to come to a complete stop before they enter the construction site. Other accidents are caused by road conditions, and narrow lanes which can be hard for a truck to navigate.
Trucking accidents can happen anywhere, whether you are on Pennsylvania Route 120, 150, or 880, or any other of the many other roads in Clinton County. However, when these accidents do happen there is often a substantial amount of property and personal injury.