Common Causes of Chicago Truck Accidents – Injury Lawyer Chicago
Truck accidents occur all the time, and often involve smaller vehicles that are unable to get out of the way.
We have all seen them driving on the highway, and sometimes we even fear them: tractor-trailer commercial trucks. They are large, looming trucks, usually carrying heavy loads and hauling down the highway from anywhere between 60-70 miles per hour. The inertia behind a semi truck is significant, and when that truck needs to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident, it is going to take significantly longer for the truck to stop than it would for a smaller car.
Major Cause of Truck Accidents: Driver Fatigue
Although there are laws and regulations against doing so, some commercial truck drivers will drive for more hours than they safely should, sometimes to the point that they become overtired. Truck drivers are required to take breaks between driving shifts and are required to rest a certain number of hours per day. However, with delivery deadlines and traffic delays, some drivers feel compelled to push themselves and try to make up for lost time. This often leads to a lack of sleep, which can slow down the truck driver’s reflexes, or the driver may even fall asleep at the wheel and thus cause an accident. Because commercial trucks are so much larger than other vehicles on the road, any accident involving a truck usually produces a lot of property damage, and can kill other drivers involved.
Mechanical Failures in the Truck
Sometimes truck accidents are attributable to faulty equipment or improper maintenance of the vehicle. In some instances the truck’s cargo is improperly tied down, or the truck’s tires are in a state of disrepair. If a tire were to blow out, it could cause the truck to veer on the road and into other drivers or other lanes of traffic. Or if the truck were to lose the treading on one of the tires, the tread could fling out from under the tire and hit a nearby vehicle.
Truck drivers are often on a delivery schedule, and if they get stuck in traffic it can cause a delivery to not be made on time. Truck drivers are notorious for multi-tasking while behind the wheel. They sometimes eat, text, talk on cellphones, fiddle with GPS systems and use the CB radio all while driving. Driving while distracted is unsafe and can cause accidents.
Lack of Skill
Sometimes truck accidents occur because the driver lacks expertise in driving large commercial trucks. It is not very difficult to obtain a commercial truck drivers license. New drivers may lack skill and might not know how to properly maneuver such a large truck under icy driving conditions or down steeply graded mountain roads.