Driving a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, or other big rig across the country is a complex, demanding task. A seemingly minor mishap or miscalculation on the part of long haul drivers can make truck accidents more likely to happen. The following details five common safety issues that often play a role in these types of crashes.
Truck Accident Safety Risks
Long haul truckers carry supplies in and out of Portland to other areas throughout the country. We depend on them for food, building materials, and other supplies. To accommodate demands, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that long haul truckers put in as many as 60 hours a week and typically travel over 100,000 miles per year. Unfortunately, these drivers are among those most likely to be involved in truck accidents. Common safety issues that increase the risks include:
- Lack of Training
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) requires all truck drivers to be properly licensed and accredited. This usually requires putting in a certain number of hours on the road. It also requires a certain level of training, but standards vary wildly depending on the school the driver attended.
The CDC advises that close to 40 percent of truck drivers claim they were not properly trained early on in their careers. Despite years of experience on the road, many continue to make mistakes or engage in dangerous practices as a result.
- Lack of Safety Precautions
There are numerous safety precautions long haul truckers need to follow to protect themselves and others on the road. These range from attending to mechanical issues with their cab or trailer to engaging in safe loading practices. Trucking companies also have an obligation to ensure proper safety procedures are put in place. Overlooking these procedures or not establishing safety policies increases truck accident risks.
- Reckless Driving Behaviors
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), reckless driving behaviors on the part of truck drivers are one of the leading causes of truck accidents. This includes speeding, tailgating, driving distracted, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Tight Schedules
Truck companies push drivers to meet tight schedules and delivery deadlines in order to increase profits. Unfortunately, not allowing enough travel time for trips increases the likelihood of speeding. It can also result in truckers not being given adequate breaks or days off between shifts, increasing drowsy driving risks.
- Prior Traffic or Safety Violations
The CDC reports that more than 35 percent of all truck drivers reported at least one truck accident over their careers. Trucking companies can be held liable for not penalizing truckers for infractions and for putting potentially dangerous drivers back out on the road.
At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we hold truckers and the companies they work for accountable when accidents happen. To discuss how we can assist you, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland truck accident attorneys online to talk to an attorney today.