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Common reasons for 18-wheeler wrecks

Car accidents happen every day, but most of these are relatively minor. That is not the case with large trucks and buses. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that there were over 4,000 buses and trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2015.

Due to the immense size of these vehicles, collisions have a greater likelihood of resulting in injuries or fatalities. It is vital for truckers and trucking organizations to understand why these accidents typically occur so they can take the proper steps to avoid them in the future.

DUI

This involves a lot more than alcohol. Truck drivers have been caught with prescription medication and various illegal drugs in their systems. No one should operate a standard vehicle while under the influence of drugs, let alone someone driving an 18-wheeler.

Various traffic violations

Speeding and tailgating are dangerous for any vehicle. However, while a small car may be able to adjust accordingly before an accident occurs, the same cannot be said for large trucks. These may be minor offenses for most drivers, but a truck driver needs to be cognizant of all driving laws.

Excessive schedules

It is a sad fact of the trucking industry that employers force many drivers to maintain unrealistic schedules. While there are laws to prevent companies from doing this, many still do. Driver fatigue can result in falling asleep or making poor decisions while driving. It could even result in the driver attempting to take prescription medication to stay awake, and as mentioned earlier, that can be just as dangerous.

Jackknifing

Jackknifing refers to the action when the trailer behind the truck pulls forward enough to fold inward. A variety of events can cause this, including bad road conditions, malfunctioning equipment and improperly braking. Devices are available to prevent this from occurring, but unfortunately, they are not always successful. 

People involved in 18-wheeler collisions should seek legal help immediately. A lawyer may be able to help the injured party get damages and hold the trucking company accountable.  

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