Driver errors are one of the main causes of various kinds of trucking accidents. Tractor trailers demand a high level of skill to operate them safely; many times even little mistakes can be deadly. Below, find some of the most concerning errors made by drivers that lead to dangerous trucking wrecks.
The safe operation of large, heavy tractor trailers demands a great deal of skill and the ability to think and react quickly. When drivers are fatigued, this dramatically increases their likelihood of making mistakes that lead to trucking accidents. Failure to get enough quality sleep is a main cause of ongoing fatigue that leads to these crashes. Although there are currently hours-of-service rules in place to prevent this and ensure that drivers get the rest they need, many still choose to break these rules by either working longer than they should or not actually resting on their required time off.
Blind Spot Errors
Every big rig has four large blind spots around the truck where operators are unable to detect the presence of other vehicles close to them. It is every driver’s responsibility to repeatedly check these areas before making any kind of maneuver like changing lanes or merging in order to avoid blind spot trucking wrecks. Unfortunately, many drivers either do not check well enough or assume that other vehicles will get out of their way.
Errors Leading to Rollovers
Due to their size, height, and shifting loads, tractor trailers and tanker trucks can roll over very easily if not expertly driven. Avoiding these dangerous trucking accidents requires careful attention to details, avoiding traveling too fast for conditions, and good experience driving a heavily loaded truck. Almost all rollovers occur due to mistakes made by the driver.
Depowering Front Brakes
Tractor trailers are expensive to maintain. With 18 sets, brakes alone are a significant maintenance cost. To reduce this cost and save money, many operators depower front truck brakes that tend to wear out more frequently and rely on the trailer brakes to slow down. This frequently leaves drivers without enough stopping power to avoid running into other vehicles, especially on the decline side of any hill. Although this practice is illegal, many drivers still chose to depower their front brakes to save a few dollars and cause deadly trucking wrecks instead.
Drugs and Medications
Drug use is another cause of serious driver errors, as many both illicit and prescription drugs can cause side effects that reduce an operator’s ability to safely operate their vehicle. The use of illegal drugs by truck drivers is prohibited and prescription medication must not affect the driver’s cognition or motor skills in any way. Still, many drivers use illegal substances or deal with side effects from prescription medications that alter their ability to safely perform their job.
Thankfully, not all tractor trailer operators break rules or make errors that lead to trucking accidents. Yet it is important to understand what some of the biggest driver errors are that lead to these events. To avoid becoming involved in trucking wrecks caused by these and other driver errors, proceed around big rigs with caution and always give them plenty of space!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 410-5810