Semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other big rigs are massive machines weighing up to 80,000 pounds. Learning how to maintain a truck properly and acquiring the skill needed to operate them on highways or maneuver through busy side streets can take years to develop. Even when a driver has extensive time on the job they are apt to overlook or forget certain things. Unfortunately, even a relatively minor mistake on the truck driver’s part can increase the odds of a truck accident.
Truck Accidents Caused by Truck Driver Errors
Truck accidents are a common occurrence, both in Portland and across the country. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), of the more than six million motor vehicle accidents that happen each year, roughly ten percent involve tractor-trailers, logging trucks, 18-wheelers. and other types of large commercial vehicles. When these accidents happen, it is often other motorists involved who suffer the most serious injuries and the truck driver who shoulders the most blame.
Reckless driving behaviors among truckers, such as speeding, tailgating, improper passing, and driving distracted or under the influence are among the leading causes of truck crashes. However, even simple mistakes or errors on the part of a truck driver can increase their accident risks. These include:
- Not ensuring the truck is properly maintained;
- Not replacing parts, such as worn tires or brakes, as needed;
- Overloading trailers and loading cargo unevenly;
- Not taking adequate breaks while on the road;
- Miscalculating turns and curves in the road;
- Not getting an adequate amount of training;
- Not speaking up about overly demanding schedules or other reckless truck company practices.
Ways Truck Drivers Can Reduce Their Accident Risks
For truckers, even a minor error can end up having major impacts when they are out on the road. While the company they work for can be held accountable in a claim in the event of a crash or collision, they can be held personally liable as well for any injuries and property damages other motorists suffer. To protect themselves and the safety of others on the road, the Truckers Report recommends the following safety tips:
- Do not let trucking companies pressure you with overly demanding schedules;
- Make sure your rig is properly loaded and in good working order before hitting the road;
- Make sure you have adequate directions, which can help you stay focused and avoid being distracted by maps or GPS;
- Limit communications and stay off your CB in heavy traffic;
- Do not let other motorists pressure you into going too fast for conditions, particularly around curves;
- Try to avoid driving between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m., which increases drowsy driving risks.
Let Us Help You Today
When truck accidents happen, the Johnston Law Firm, P.C. can protect your rights in filing a claim. Get the compensation you need to recover. To schedule a consultation, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland truck accident attorneys online today.