Some of the worst vehicle accidents are caused by commercial trucks. The reasons for the accidents vary but statistics do show that about 500,000 accidents happen per year. And most of these are either directly or indirectly caused by commercial truck drivers. About 5,000 of these accidents cause fatalities, despite the fact that transit authorities have created laws to reduce the number of truck related accidents and fatalities. Even so, these accidents are common and it is important to know what the main causes are, and what to do in the event of an accident. Above all, the best advice we can give is to avoid taking the truck insurance company’s first compensation offer. Instead, you want to first contact a qualified truck accident attorney to help you maximize your claim.
- Tired Drivers
The most common reason for truck and vehicle accidents is truck driver fatigue. Companies often overworked drivers, and send them on trips that take many hours. They don’t get enough rest and this often results in horrible accidents. Extreme fatigue causes loss of coordination, concentration and can even cause a driver to fall asleep while driving.
- Substance Abuse
Truck drivers often have alcohol and drug problems and have usually been found guilty at one time or another of abusing both substances. Some drivers take drugs and alcohol on their rest times when they make stops through towns. However, we have also seen drivers that actually abuse while still driving. Regardless of when they use, the substance abuse causes them to have accidents. It’s not just illegal drug use that can cause accidents, some drivers use prescription drugs and then drive and this can impair their vision, judgement and coordination and lead to accidents.
- Poor Training
Truck drivers are trained before they are allowed to drive commercial vehicles. They need to meet certain requirements. However, not all drivers stick to the rules, or take the regulations seriously. This results in poor driver training. In the end a poor driver will have a road accident.
- Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Truck owners are required to perform regular truck maintenance to ensure their trucks are in appropriate driving condition. However, they sometimes postpone maintenance due to time and cost constraints. A poorly maintained truck can cause slower braking times, and poor response to driver’s needs.
Truck owners require drivers to arrive at pick-up or drop-off locations at a specific time. Meeting these deadlines can often result in a driver breaking the speed limits to get to his destination faster.
What Do You Do If You Are in a Truck Accident?
If you are in an accident with a commercial truck, you need and report it to the police. Let your insurance provider know as well. If you are able, be sure to take pictures of the accident. Get the name, address and phone number of the driver, and be sure to ask for a copy of the police report. Document everything you can about the accident. If you are in need of medical attention, go to the hospital and ask a family member or friend to take note of the scene of the accident. You also will want to retain the services of an experienced truck accident attorney to help maximize your claim..
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