Truck accidents should not be as common as they are. Modern trucks have laser sensors around the truck and the trailer. They have parking sensors as well as motion sensors for when they are surrounded by pedestrians. It’s not too much to ask to lower the number of truck accidents down because they almost always involve a serious injury or death. Approximately, 130,000 people have been killed or injured by trucks just in the past year alone. There are also 3.5 million truck drivers in the US and millions of 40-ton trucks on the highways and roads. With all this technology at the disposal of trucking companies, why do truck accidents still happen?
A pattern emerging
About 97-98% of the deaths that are caused by truck accidents are male. This means that the majority of cars, vans and motorcycles that are hit by trucks are men, and the majority of truckers are men too.
What could this be down to? Is it just coincidence or is it specific driving cultures that are clashing? One could say that men tend to take more risks while you could also say that this isn’t solely down to risk-taking, but the lifestyles. More men work later and earlier in the day, so perhaps a lack of concentration due to tiredness could be the cause. Either way, it’s something to be aware of, if you are a male driver.
Lasers to the rescue
For some years now, Laster technology has been employed by trucking companies to make trucks safer to operate. For instance, lasers are used to align the wheels. This lets the driver know what angle the tires are at, how far left or right to move the wheel to align the wheels, etc. this is crucial for highway trips. Aligning the wheels allows for safer travel, but also less uneven wear of the vehicle and not to mention, the trailer.
At the repair shops, lasers are used to align the wheels, shafts, body lining and more. Basically, getting the truck as straight as possible, means it will be safer, more economical and provide the best positive feedback to the driver. Lasers are also used to judge the distance of cars around the truck, giving the driver a fair warning of what to expect front and rear.
The common causes
The common causes of truck accidents are quite fascinating.
- The number one issue is lack of driver awareness. This goes both ways, the car, motorcycle, or van, need to be aware that the truck driver might not be aware of them. Don’t rely on the truck to know where you can.
- Overloading the trailer. The truck can only handle so much weight. Approximately, 80,000 pounds is the safe limit. That’s about 40-tons. Overloading can mean it doesn’t handle as well, can’t stop in a reasonable distance and has trouble accelerating.
- The main issue is that a truck doesn’t know you are in the blind spot, even after having seen you in the mirrors. This is why you should always contact a truck accident lawyer if you are involved in an accident because the trucking company should either fit cameras or a sophisticated mirror system on their trucks to aid the driver. Lawyers can go for the trucking company, meaning there is a higher chance of getting compensation for healthcare bills, etc.
- Lack of maintenance. The tires, brakes, shaft, linkage and so many other things have to be properly maintained on trucks for them to be operated safely. Even if a driver tries to avoid an accident, his or her vehicle might not respond adequately. This is the job of the trucking company, the driver, and the regulators to stay on top of.
Sometimes, the cold harsh reason for someone’s injury in a truck accident is because of respect, or rather the lack of it. Respect the 40-ton truck hurtling down the highway or road at 50-60mph. It’s never something to play with, always give it a wide berth as you pass it and do whatever you can to let the driver know you are there. Flash your lights, honk the horn, or wave to get their attention if they look like they might be turning into you.
Truck accidents almost always end badly for the other party. Make sure you are well aware of what the driver might be doing, try not to hang around the truck if you are cruising. And if you are the driver, maintain your vehicle, incorporate modern technology, and never take risks.