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Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Big Rigs are a Safety Risk
What are the leading causes of truck accidents?
Back in May, we reported on the high rate of accidents on KY-151 and efforts by residents to have trucks banned from traveling on certain sections of that road. This is not the only highway in the state, however, where truck accidents occur. Kentucky, situated between the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, is a gateway for interstate commerce. As such, drivers of passenger vehicles across the blue grass state must share the road with freight trucks and tractor-trailers, and accidents are far too common.
In order to minimize the risk of truck accidents, there are a variety of state and federal laws regulating trucking companies and truck drivers. Trucks must be adequately maintained and regularly inspected, and drivers are required to obtain special licenses and adhere to driving limits. Nonetheless, accidents involving automobiles and trucks often lead to catastrophic injures and even death.
Reasons for Truck Accidents
While truck drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care not to injure others, trucks can be hard to navigate due to their weight and length. In addition, tractor-trailers take a long time to stop, even when traveling at normal speed and more so if they are speeding. In spite of state and federal rules and regulations, accidents involving big rigs occur for a number of reasons.
For example, if components such as brake systems, tire and trailers, and engines, are not adequately maintained, accidents are more likely to occur. In addition, driver fatigue often leads to many accidents.
While there are regulations that limit the number of hours truckers can drive and require frequent rest breaks, drivers are still faced with delivery deadlines that push them to drive long hours and cover a lot of ground.
These work schedules make them more prone to becoming distracted and making mistakes. Truckers are also often distracted by cell phones, checking the GPS system, tuning the radio, as well as eating and drinking. Lastly, improper loading is another key reason for truck accidents, even though state and federal laws limit the weight of cargo trucks can carry. Moreover, if the cargo is improperly distributed, big rigs become harder to maneuver, making them more prone to an accidents.
There are a variety of other reasons for truck accidents, including trucking company negligence, inadequate training of truck drivers, and even bad weather and poor road conditions. Regardless of the reasons, trucking companies and truckers must be held accountable. For this reason, motorists who are injured in an accident with a big rig should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney in order to obtain just compensation.