Large, commercial trucks are called many names — big rigs, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, semitrucks, etc. Regardless, these are massive vehicles with heavy loads moving at high speeds down our nation’s highways. The potential for damage to property, injury or death is always a risk.
Truck accidents, unfortunately, happen all too often. Other motorists, pedestrians and cyclists are often put in harm’s way when things go wrong. Truck accidents can be very serious and life-changing.
Unsafe behaviors while driving a truck cause accidents
Truck accidents are very common in the US and there is certainly a cause for concern. These can be partly attributed to unsafe behaviors by truck drivers. Here are nine things that truckers do that could cause an accident:
- Intoxication: Truck drivers that operate big rigs while under the influence of drugs or alcohol are an accident waiting to happen.
- Talking on the phone: It is against the law in Texas to use a non-hands-free mobile device while operating a motor vehicle. This means truckers cannot talk, text, read and send emails, check Facebook or do other things on a smartphone or tablet while driving.
- Overworked: Truck drivers must follow state laws regarding how many hours they can work before taking a break. Tired, sleep-deprived truckers are a potential public hazard.
- Wide turns: Truckers need to use caution when making turns because trucks are much longer than cars and have a much wider turning radius.
- Seatbelts: It is illegal for truckers to drive without being properly strapped in with seatbelts.
- Tailgating: Truckers who follow too closely behind other vehicles can cause horrific crashes.
- Passing through urban areas: Truckers need to be aware of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists when driving through populated areas.
- Distracted: Truck drivers who smoke cigarettes, shave or put on make-up while driving can be dangerously distracted.
- Eating and drinking: Long-haul drivers often eat while behind the wheels of their trucks. This can cause accidents, especially if hot coffee spills on them.
A truck accident can be devastating. If injured in a truck accident, the priority should be getting medical treatment for any injuries suffered.
You might also want to learn more about the aftermath of truck accidents in Texas and how best to move forward after such a traumatic event.