There are too many accidents on the roads of St. Petersburg and surrounding areas each year. Of those, several will involve tractor trailer accidents and, as a result, are more likely to have devastating outcomes. With so much weight behind them and limited maneuverability, large trucks are prone to do serious damage when they veer off course. However, many of the tractor trailer accidents that do occur are preventable. Take, for instance, these top causes of accidents and the relatively easy solutions to reducing such intense risk.
Unbalanced Load. An unloaded tractor-trailer truck can weigh as much as 35,000 pounds. When fully packed, there can be additional weight of up to 45,000 pounds. Given this fact, it is easy for one to understand why these vehicles are so dangerous if the driver loses control. When the load is not packaged properly or when too much weight is added, it can disrupt the balance of the truck, which makes it more difficult for the driver to manage, thereby creating the potential for tractor-trailer accidents. This often leads to very serious and deadly accidents, which is why the trucking industry has created a series of regulations regarding proper loading of trailers. When these rules are overlooked, the case will often be fought by personal injury attorneys and the family members of innocent victims.
Driving Recklessly. With all of that weight to throw around and reduced maneuverability, it is essential for truckers to drive safely. Excessive speeds, sharp turns, or tricky movements on the road can lead to fatal outcomes. It is also important for other drivers on the Saint Petersburg highways to give truckers extra space to contend with more challenging steering.
Fatigued Drivers. Most people have heard of the dangers of being overly tired on the road. Once again, the risks associated with this are even higher for a tractor trailer driver. A wrong move with this massive machine can mean the loss of several lives and hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars in repairs. The trucking industry does regulate the number of hours that a driver can be on the road in a given week, but there have been several documented cases of employers ignoring these mandatory guidelines and putting their drivers and innocent bystanders at risk.
Poorly Maintained Equipment. Regular maintenance is important for every vehicle. Because these large trucks see many more miles on the road than the average passenger car will in a year, they require more regular repairs. Failure to check and maintain the components of the big rig puts everyone at greater risk because a mechanical failure can take the control out of the hands of the driver and into the hands of fate. When those defects are the fault of the manufacturer, the company will be found negligent and be responsible for medical and repair expenses related to the accident. However, there is no sum of money great enough to replace a lost life.
Enlarged Blind Spots. Accidents are not always the fault of the truck drivers. Others on the road need to be aware of the limitations of big rigs. Among those are the large areas of decreased visibility for the driver – referred to as blind spots. Blind spots exist for the drivers of most vehicles on the road, but they are much larger when behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer. Traveling too close behind the monster machine, or right alongside it, can make a person invisible to the operator and that means that the chances of being involved in an accident are much higher.
Accidents do happen, but most could be prevented with a little added vigilance. When driving a tractor trailer, or when riding alongside one, be aware of the added risks and prepare yourself to contend with unexpected errors.