Trucking accidents have devastating consequences for drivers and their communities. In 2020, Kentucky reported 118 fatalities in truck-related accidents. This makes Kentucky the state with the 14th-most trucking accidents, including a fatality.
Understanding the most prevalent causes behind trucking accidents can help drivers become safer behind the wheel and possibly prevent future accidents with big rigs.
On the road, big rigs are more dangerous than passenger vehicles. Most fatal accidents included multiple cars rather than a single vehicle. Truckers become much more hazardous when they indulge in distractions. Distractions include: texting, phone calls or eating while behind the road. If a truck driver diverts his or her attention from the world, he or she loses reaction time. Since trucks already take time to slow or stop, any lost reaction time can create the perfect storm for an accident.
Hours of service violations
Long hours on the road can cause drivers to feel fatigued. While federal Hours of Service regulations intend to stop truckers from driving excessive hours, many do not follow the rules or may attempt to drive before having a good night’s rest. Tired drivers cannot make split-second decisions and have a higher chance of causing an accident.
Improper cargo loading
When a trucker does not load his or her cargo correctly, it can shift during transit and destabilize the truck. Destabilized trucks may lose control, tip or drop the cargo. Cargo should never slide or tumble in the back.
To prevent accidents, truckers must prioritize safety by adhering to laws and regulations necessary to operate a motor vehicle.