Articles Tagged with 18-Wheeler Accident Causes

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gavel1-300x169Rockwall and Kaufman counties are major trucking routes with highways such as Interstate 30, Interstate 20 and Highways 80 and 175 passing through those counties respectively, along with other major highways intersecting them. Commercial trucking accidents are some of the most severe and potentially fatal types of accidents imaginable. An 18-Wheeler truck loaded with thousands of pounds of cargo can weigh upwards of 40,000 tons, or 80,000 pounds. That is a massive amount of destructive force which is why trucking accidents often result in debilitating, life-altering injuries and even death.

Truck Accidents Can Be Fatal

Data from the US Department of Transportation shows 2,485 passenger vehicle occupants died in “large truck accidents” in 2014. The most deaths happened in 1979, when 4,226 people in passenger vehicles died in large truck accidents. That’s a 41.1% drop from 1979, which represents good progress, however, the number of deaths per accident has risen. This is true despite increased federal regulations on trucking companies and truck drivers, respectively. Quite often the cause of trucking accidents is due to a trucking company forcing drivers to violate federal regulations and drive for longer periods of time without sleep than allowed by law, truckers going against their own companies rules and regulations to meet strict delivery deadlines, and driver fatigue or equipment failure.

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Though collisions with large trucks are less common than accidents with other passenger vehicles, the mortality rate increases dramatically. This is because the sheer size and weight difference between a standard car and a standard commercial truck weighing in at about 20 times the weight of a car. This, inevitably, makes all the difference in the outcome. What can further exacerbate the situation is a tire blowout on a large commercial truck, like an 18-wheeler. When something goes wrong with a vehicle that is that big, and is moving that fast, it can have absolutely devastating consequences.

You say, “oh, but that does not happen very often.” Well, how often do you see 18-wheelers pulled over on the side of the road fixing a tire? Drive on the interstate for a little while and you’re bound to see one pulled over. Better yet, drive on the interstate and look at all the pieces of tire you see littering the sides of the highway: many of those full strips you see came from big rigs unraveling a full tire while driving down the highway. The truth is, it happens, and when it happens, it can be a very dangerous and difficult situation for any driver to handle.

In fact, one of the leading causes of truck accidents are tire blowouts. A blowout may cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle and become a hazard to the highway.