Sharing the highway with semi-trucks can be pretty unsettling at times. Unfortunately, there are several important factors that often lead to big truck accidents.
A Lack of Driver Training Is Sometimes An Issue
Operating a semi-truck is not like driving a passenger vehicle. With a vehicle that has such stature and weight, many rules of operation are different. Truck drivers usually have to pass a long written exam to obtain a permit and then go to a driver training school to learn the proper operation methods. Unfortunately, some trucking companies are in such a rush to get new drivers into trucks and hauling loads that the behind-the-wheel training time gets shortened. A semitruck driver on the road who does not have a lot of experience is more likely to cause an accident.
Overworked Drivers Are Not Getting the Proper Rest
Drivers are supposed to follow strict guidelines about how many hours they work and how many breaks they take. According to The Balance, drivers must do the following:
- take a 30-minute break after eight hours of driving
- drive only 11 hours in a regular shift unless inclement weather prolongs a trip
- take off for 34 consecutive hours to restart their workweek
The driving rules can get pretty complicated, but the bottom line is this: some drivers do not get enough rest or downtime because they are under such tight deadlines. For example, if they have exactly 14 hours to make a delivery and they run into traffic that delays them by two hours, they may falsify their logbook and keep driving just to get the load delivered on time.
Distracted Driving Is a Big Issue
When you spend so many hours a day behind the wheel, you may be tempted to multitask even when it is not technically something safe to do. Consider a truck driver who only had time for a 30-minute off-duty break to grab some food. They got held up in line and spent 25 minutes of their break waiting, so they decide to eat on the road. All attention should be on the road ahead and the surrounding traffic while driving, so eating while driving can be distracting, just like things like checking text messages or fiddling with a GPS.
All of these factors can make truck accidents a regular occurrence. If you have been injured in a big truck accident, reach out to a truck accident attorney service for help.