Poor judgment. Over speeding. Disregarding traffic rules. These are some of the biggest causes of semi-trailer accidents. According to the stats, these accidents have caused fatalities. Still more, they have resulted in agonizing personal injuries. The good news is that some of these accidents are preventable. However, you should understand the causes of these accidents. This guide is going to highlight common causes of trailer accidents.
Center Of Gravity
Tractor-trailers typically have a high center of gravity. And this increases their chances of rolling over. Most of these accidents are deadly, especially when they occur in the middle of heavy traffic.
Trucks are highly prone to malfunctions. And that’s mainly because they travel long distances. As such, the brakes, steering, and tires can easily malfunction, hence increasing the risk of accidents.
Improper Cargo Loading
If cargo isn’t properly loaded on a heavy truck, it can shift during transit. This can make it difficult to control the vehicle. Plus, the imbalance can lead to truck jackknifing and overturning.
Most tractor-trailers transport hazardous materials. When these materials aren’t handled with care, they might spill out, hence causing serious health concerns.
Commercial trucks often take more time to stop. They also take more time to get up to the required speed. Thus, if you underestimate the time it’ll take you to accelerate to the desired speed, you might easily get rear-ended by other vehicles.
This is a major concern. When you’re fatigued, you might end up making impaired decisions. Research has shown that fatigue impairs a person’s ability to make wise decisions, just like alcohol would. Besides, fatigue can make you feel angry. And when you’re angry, you may develop aggressive driving behaviors.
Excessive Use of Stimulants
Most truck drivers use stimulants to stay awake. Unfortunately, dependence on these stimulants often causes driver fatigue. Plus, it can impair their ability to decide when to stop or take a break. And this in turn increases their risk of causing unnecessary accidents.
Disrupted Circadian Rhythms
Nearly all truck drivers prefer driving at night. And this disrupts their circadian rhythms, hence heightening their risk for road accidents. The circadian rhythm typically refers to the body’s response to sleep at night. According to the studies, most drivers cause accidents one hour after waking up.
This is especially true for drivers who sleep in sleeper berths. According to researchers, this can be attributed to sleep inertia. To them, sleep inertia affects the short-term memory of the driver. Also, its responsible for affecting the driver’s vigilance, reaction time, as well as cognitive aspects. Also, sleep inertia is responsible for resisting sleep.
Tips For Avoiding Semi-Trailer Accidents
It’s unfortunate that not all car accidents can be prevented. In some instances, things can be out of control on the side of the trailer driver. Here are instances where the accident is beyond the driver’s control:
Before hitting the road, you are advised to ensure that all the parts are in top shape. This includes checking all the parts. From the tires to the braking system, you must ensure that everything is in top shape. Thus, purchase the right parts. Get your parts from a reputable brand.
Avoid cheaper brands. You will end up purchasing defective and low-quality parts. Ask other drivers for referrals. You can also ask your mechanic for referrals. The bottom line is to purchase genuine parts. They will enhance your safety on the road.
You don’t have control over road conditions. Things like poorly placed signs can cause an accident. The same applies for crossroads, blocked visibility, and debris.
Thus, you need to exercise a high level of alertness. In particular, you should drive carefully. Be aware that you might encounter obstacles on the road. This is especially true when on busy roads. Use your cognitive skills to minimize some of these accidents.
Other drivers can cause accidents. For instance, the actions of another driver are beyond your control. A driver who is driving at high speed can end up hitting you. If you suspect that another driver is driving carelessly (putting others at risk) inform the police. Call 999 and have that driver arrested.
How To Avoid Semi-Trailer Accidents
Accidents can be minimized. Certain accidents can be prevented. Here are practical tips and tricks for preventing auto accidents:
Stay Away from Blind Spots
Avoid driving on the blind spots. This includes driving directly in the front and behind. Also, avoid driving directly alongside another large truck. The other driver’s view is obstructed. Thus, he/she may not see you clearly, which can cause an accident.
However, if you want to pass a truck, make sure it doesn’t last long. You should take a few minutes to pass that driver. Also, observe the signals from the other driver. Remember, the truck may be intending to make a turn. Thus, you should be very careful when driving alongside another truck.
Large Trucks Are Difficult to Stop
Unlike small cars, it’s not easy to stop a big truck. As a driver, it’s important to recognize this aspect. Thus, avoid driving too aggressively when near a truck. Don’t make careless turns. Use the signs the right way.
Poor weather conditions can cause an accident. Thus, you should be careful when driving in poor visibility weather. Large trucks should be given extra space when the weather isn’t good. This way, you can have sufficient time and space to react in case of an accident.
No Overtaking on The Truck’s Right-Hand Side
The right side has the biggest blind spot. It’s more than the rest of the sides. As a driver, you should overtake a truck using this side. Stick to the left side. Approach it carefully. Use the right signals.
Pro Tip: If you have been involved in an accident, hire an attorney. Visit Semi-Trailer accident faqs for more information.
The above guide contains common causes of trailer accidents. From overspeeding to disregarding traffic rules, these are the top causes of semi-trailer accidents. Be alert. Drive carefully. Avoid these accidents.