The average automobile weighs around 3,000 pounds while a fully loaded commercial truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. This means an accident between the two can be serious or even deadly.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
This is the number one cause of truck accidents as drivers are often paid by the mile. The faster they drive, the more miles they cover equaling a bigger payday.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that fatigue is one of the leading cause of crashes. Truck drivers are allowed to drive up to seventy hours in seven days, and they must take a thirty minute break within their first eight hours on the road. However, not all drivers follow these rules and become too fatigued to safely operate their vehicle.
Under federal law, the weight limit for tractor trailers and their cargo is 80,000 pounds. If a truck is overweight, it needs more stopping time and is more likely to roll over in an accident.
Federal regulations prohibit truck drivers from texting or talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device when behind the wheel. However, some drivers ignore the regulations which can lead to catastrophic consequences.
Driving Under the Influence
In order to stay awake, some drivers use illegal drugs or abuse prescription medications. This creates a very dangerous driving situation as does driving under the influence of alcohol. Truck drivers who are involved in a serious accidents, must submit to an alcohol and drug test.