Truck drivers operate a vehicle that weighs several tons, contains thousands of dollars of cargo, and travels at speeds more than 60 miles per hour. It is not hard to imagine how destructive these trucks can be in an accident. Despite that, truckers are vulnerable to the same risks as any other driver. These risks can cause catastrophic injuries, but what are they?
Even though truck accidents can be devastating, it seems like little is being done to prevent them. The fact that truck accidents are at a 30 year high supports this idea. If accidents are so common now, what is causing them?
Everyone knows what it is like to be tired while driving. Whether you drove to work early in the morning, or have driven home after a long day, you know how dangerous fatigue behind the wheel can be. For truckers, it can be worse. Truckers typically drive 11 hours a day, but it can be more if the trucker is running behind schedule, or looking to get to the destination early. These extended hours can result in much more extreme cases of fatigue.
Eating while driving, using the radio, looking at a cellphone, and updating the GPS are all ways that drivers can take their attention off the road. Even a few seconds of eyes off the road can be the same as driving blindfolded for hundreds of yards. A moment of driving blind can leave a victim with a lifetime of injuries.
Drugs and alcohol
A truck driver is like anyone else and is, therefore, just as vulnerable to driving under the influence. In addition to drugs and alcohol, truckers may also be under the control of caffeine pills or other pills to help keep the driver awake. These substances can leave a driver in a trance-like state that also makes their fatigue much worse.
Do not take your safety for granted
Truckers have to go through training to join the profession, but that does not mean they are immune to the same dangers of driving that you encounter. Be sure to give these vehicles plenty of space on the road, and watch for sudden erratic movements from the vehicle that may indicate an accident may happen soon.