A collision between a sedan and an 18-wheel tractor-trailer is no contest. Most commercial truck drivers are aware of the dangers their vehicles pose. So, they usually take the proper precautions to keep the roads safe.
Yet, even the most seasoned trucker can fall prey to a moment of inattention. They know that this error could result first in catastrophic harm, and then the risk of a personal injury law firm Hillsborough County filing a suit against them. So, commercial trucking companies and professional drivers generally do their best to hold to a higher standard of safety. Here are a few noteworthy facts about sharing the road with large trucks:
- Common Errors
People slip up, forget details and push envelopes. When these people are truckers, the following errors often result in collisions:
- Drifting out of lanes
- Driving while fatigued
- Problems with braking systems
- Driving at unsafe speeds
The good news is that these mistakes are usually preventable, and trucking protocols like Hours of Service regulations may help prevent crashes.
- Most Dangerous Seasons
July through October generally sees the highest incidents of truck accidents, due to the higher volume of summer traffic. A contributing factor may also be the assumption that good weather and longer days make safer conditions, and drivers may allow their caution to slip.
Motorists also shouldn’t discount late November through December. The potential for adverse conditions often makes holiday travel a little riskier as well.
- Mountain Driving
Those who don’t typically drive through mountains may have never seen the steep strips of gravel that pop up on the side of roads. Trucks face some unique challenges due to size, weight and the mechanics of tractor operation. Many commercial trucking companies train operators to drive through mountains safely and how to use runaway truck ramps should they lose control on a downhill slope.
- Risky Roads
The United States has hundreds of beautiful roads that wind through hills and along shorelines. However, highways that are fun for sports cars and other small vehicles can be nightmarish for 18-wheelers.
For example, US 129 in North Carolina, otherwise known as the “Tail of the Dragon” is an 11-mile stretch that curves 318 times. Another dangerous road for truckers is the “Million Dollar Highway” in mountainous Colorado, which climbs to 11,000 feet without guardrails or shoulders.
Commercial trucks transport a significant volume of goods from coast to coast, so it’s not likely going anywhere soon. A little foreknowledge about the risks that truckers face every day may help motorists avoid potentially deadly accidents with trucks.