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Three Common Causes Of Truck Accidents And How To Avoid Them

Each year in the United States, there are about 500,000 truck accidents and nearly 5,000 people a year getting killed in accidents involving trucks. Not all of these accidents are caused by truck drivers, however, there are some things that truckers can do to reduce the numbers of these types of accidents.

One of the first things a truck driver can do is to recognize these three common causes of truck accidents and find ways to avoid them.

Drowsy Driving

Nearly half of all semi-truck drivers who have had to make long distance hauls admit to drifting off at the wheel. Despite stricter guidelines and regulations put into place by the U.S. Department of Transportation and other agencies, truckers are still allowed to drive up to 11 hours a day. Besides getting drowsy from driving too many hours, another major cause of drowsy driving is a sleep disorder called sleep apnea.

If truck drivers make a point to rest when they are feeling tired, take frequent breaks, and get treatment for sleep apnea, they can reduce their chances of having an accident caused by drowsy driving.

Drug Use

Although professional truck drivers that have a CDL are subject to random drug tests, certain drugs may not show up in the results. For instance, a standard 5-panel drug test only tests for the following types of drugs:

  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines/methamphetamines
  • Opiates
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Marijuana

Oftentimes, truck drivers take over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs that can have negative side effects, which include sleepiness, dizziness, or other symptoms that can impair driving.

In order to avoid drug-related accidents, truck drivers should never use illegal drugs and should be aware of how certain types of medications affect them.

Equipment Failure

This type of accident can either be the result of the truck having a manufacturing defect, or it can be due to lack of maintenance. The most common types of equipment failures include:

  • Faulty brakes
  • Tire blowouts
  • Steering problems
  • Faulty windshield wipers

There are some instances where equipment failure happens at no fault of the truck driver. However, in order to reduce accidents caused by faulty equipment, truckers should always ensure the truck they are driving has been properly maintained and should get it checked out by a mechanic as soon as they notice something isn't working right.

If you are a truck driver that has caused an accident due to drowsy driving, drugs, or equipment failure, and other people have been injured or killed as a result, truck accident attorneys can help. For more information, contact a company like Wolfe  Jones Wolfe Hancock Daniel & South LLC.