If you live in the greater Houston area, you know that truck accidents happen far too often. Every year, hundreds of people lose their lives, and thousands suffer injuries in these crashes. Perhaps you managed to escape becoming a part of the yearly statistics so far, but your luck could run out.
If it does, it could be due to a mistake on the part of the truck driver. Even though you may not always be able to prevent an accident with an 18-wheeler, you may at least gain some insight into the types of accidents its driver could make.
Truck driver mistakes
Admittedly, some mistakes are common to all drivers, regardless of the size of the vehicle they drive. Even so, there are some things truckers do that could easily lead to accidents, such as the following:
- Distracted driving remains a problem for all drivers, even truck drivers. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration passed a rule, making it illegal for truckers to text behind the wheel, and restricting other cell phone use as well.
- Truck drivers get complacent behind the wheel since they drive several hours a day. This makes them prone to letting their guard down instead of remaining vigilant and looking out for changes in weather, road conditions, traffic patterns and more.
- Speaking of weather, you need to adjust your driving in inclement weather. Can you imagine the necessary adjustments the driver of an 18-wheeler needs to make in order to drive safely?
- A truck driver's work zone is the road. This means that drivers should exercise caution any time they change lanes, speed up, slow down or take any other action behind the wheel.
- Even though you and other drivers need to remain diligent, truck drivers ought to give you a hand by using turn signals well in advance of a turn and using the brakes to warn those behind them of the intent to stop.
- Because truck drivers can cross through one or more time zones on a long-haul trip, they need to remain up to date on road and weather conditions. A failure to plan could result in an accident.
- Slowing and stopping a big rig doesn't happen quickly. Truckers must begin these maneuvers long before they need to in order to be able to do so when approaching an area where slowing down or stopping is a requirement.
- Fatigued, medicated or ill truckers pose a danger to everyone. The FMCSA advises rest and staying off the road under these circumstances.
- Keeping a big rig in good working order is crucial to a safe trip. Failing to inspect, repair and maintain a rig could result in a crash.
The FMCSA knows these mistakes are ones truckers make because the agency reviews truck accident data in an attempt to make the industry safer. If you do suffer harm due to a truck driver mistake that resulted in an accident, you may start searching for evidence of negligence in these areas.