Motor vehicle collisions can result in devastating property damage and catastrophic injuries. When these collisions involve an 18-wheeler, the crash is nearly always on the more serious end of the spectrum. Due to the truck’s greater size and longer stopping distance, severe collisions can be fatal for the occupants of smaller vehicles.
There are myriad reasons why these crashes occur, including:
- Driver fatigue: Due to their long trips and tight schedules, long-haul truck drivers often work past the limits of their own energy. Even though there are rest and time regulations, drivers often get behind the wheel fatigued.
- Inexperienced drivers: Even though these professional drivers must endure additional training, there are still varied levels of experience. Like everything, some drivers are simply less experienced and lack the skill to handle certain hazardous scenarios.
- Distracted drivers: Like other drivers on the road, distractions tempt truck drivers. Whether it is a phone call, text conversation, personal grooming or eating a meal on the road, drivers often face distractions while behind the wheel.
- Impaired drivers: Driver impairment can come in many forms including alcohol, drugs or prescription medication. Any of these substances can damage a driver’s perceptions and reaction times.
- Improper load: This can mean an overloaded truck, a truck with an unbalanced load or a truck carrying an unsecured load. Any of these situations can result in the loss of control and poor maneuverability.
- Poor vehicle maintenance: From the tires and lights to the brakes and steering, the company must properly maintain the truck’s safety and control systems to avoid a collision.
No matter the cause of the large truck collision, smaller passenger vehicles risk being demolished in the crash. In addition to severe property damage, the collision can cause devastating injuries to vehicle occupants. Drivers and passengers alike risk suffering broken bones, brain damage, spinal cord trauma and paralysis.