North, south and east: interstate highways connect Portland to the rest of the U.S. While the highways are critical to our city’s commercial well-being, they also carry threats to the drivers using them.
Eighteen-wheelers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds; about 25 times more than an average passenger vehicle. When a big rig and a car collide, the results can be catastrophic for the people inside the smaller vehicle. That’s why it’s crucial for us to understand the multifaceted answer to this question: what causes Portland truck accidents?
Insurance company State Farm notes that one of the major factors in truck accidents is fatigue. Because many truckers get paid by the number of miles they drive rather than the hours they spend behind the wheel, their financial incentive is often to drive as long and as fast as possible. Unfortunately, some truck drivers push themselves to keep driving and keep making money, rather than opting to get needed rest.
Studies have shown that drowsy or fatigued drivers, like drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs, have significantly slower reaction times and diminished judgment.
Another common accident contributing factor: driver distractions. Like fatigued drivers, distracted drivers have some of the same issues impaired drivers have, including slowed reaction times. If a trucker is busy typing a text message to a buddy or family member, his eyes linger for long seconds on his phone and not on the road. And in those seconds, unexpected things can happen and unanticipated changes in traffic can appear without warning: traffic can suddenly slow, a bend in the road or a construction zone appears, and so on.
As families of truck accident victims know, collisions between tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles can often lead to deaths or catastrophic injuries. In the aftermath of such a tragedy, families and victims will many times lean on an experienced attorney to help them seek justice.