Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
Garden-variety car accidents can be very scary ordeals. What is even scarier is when the accident involves an 18-wheeler. On average, an 18-wheeler weighs 80,000 pounds, or 40 tons. A typical truck, in contrast, weighs between 5,000 and 9,900 pounds. There are myriad causes of 18-wheeler accidents. Five of the most common causes include:
- Driver fatigue — The number of hours a truck driver can work is limited by federal regulations. Sometimes, though, drivers don’t follow these regulations. When this happens, drivers may become exhausted and fall asleep, resulting in serious accidents.
- Distracted driving — Distracted driving such as texting while driving, eating, adjusting the radio or typing a number into the GPS system can also lead to accidents. Distracted driving is a problem all drivers face, but it is particularly dangerous when 18-wheeler truck drivers become distracted.
- Substance use — The use of alcohol or stimulants such as Adderall or other amphetamines can impair reaction time, perception and judgment. Truck drivers may use amphetamines to help them stay awake for long hauls. Using these drugs, however, can have devastating effects.
- Driver inexperience — Yet another common cause of 18-wheeler accidents is driver inexperience. Driving such a large load takes specialized training and skill. When drivers are not properly trained or lack the requisite experience to be driving a large truck, accidents can occur.
- Improper loading — Improperly loading cargo can also cause accidents. Failure to properly load cargo can result in an improper weight distribution, which can cause jack-knifing or make the truck hard to maneuver. Accidents may then result.
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If you or a loved one has been the victim of an accident involving a tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler or another industrial vehicle, damages may be recoverable. For a free consultation to determine whether you are entitled to compensation, and thus the peace of mind and financial relief from the costs of medical treatment, contact one of the trucking accident attorneys at Reich & Binstock in Houston. Either use our contact form or call 713-622-7271 or 800-622-7271 toll free.
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