It seems like we read about them every day in the news, or are stopped on the highway because of them. Serious Kentucky semi-truck accidents happen on a regular basis. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 1,403 injuries from crashes involving large trucks in 2010 alone—not including the semi-truck crashes resulting in fatalities.
Most accidents involving tractor-trailers are due to the fact that the driver cannot stop his rig in time. When this happens, one of three things usually occurs:
- The truck driver ends up rear-ending smaller, more vulnerable cars in front of him.
- The truck driver will try swerving to the left or right shoulders and side-swiping other cars.
- The truck driver will lose control of his truck altogether, which results in the rig jackknifing and blocking traffic, causing the other cars to strike his load.
Why are there so many instances of truck drivers being unable to stop in time? There are many factors that contribute to this scary phenomenon, and sadly, all of these factors can be avoided. Major factors include:
- Inattentiveness due to fatigue. Truck drivers work long hours and are forced to stare at the road for days. While most states have rules about how long truck drivers are allowed to drive without breaks, some drivers disregard them and try to deliver their load or get home faster by forgoing sleep.
- Texting behind the wheel. Studies have shown that taking your eyes off the road to send or read a text can be as dangerous as drinking and driving. This is even worse for truck drivers, since the sheer weight of their rigs makes stopping more difficult than in a regular car.
- The effects of drugs or alcohol. Slow reaction time due to the influence of certain substances has been known to cause horrific injury accidents.
- Failure to inspect the semi-truck. A driver should recognize faulty brakes during the pre-drive inspection. If this inspection is not done, problems could arise once the driver is on the road.
- Driving with an overweight load. Trying to stop a semi-truck is difficult enough when it is at the proper weight limit. Overweight loads only make stopping more difficult—and it is against the law.
For more information on semi-truck accidents and how to avoid them, contact attorney Daryl Dixon at 270-210-3123 or fill out our online form. Not only will our firm provide you with a complimentary case evaluation, but you will also receive a free copy of the book Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: What Your Insurance Company Doesn’t Want You to Know and Won’t Tell You Until It’s Too Late.