Thousands of motorists in Illinois and throughout the nation share the roads with massive tractor trailers on a daily basis. These large vehicles have special operation requirements and must be driven by specially trained and qualified truckers. Even when operated by experienced truckers, however, tractor trailers can have major problems on the road, which may cause devastating truck accidents resulting in injuries and death.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a study into the common causes of large truck accidents. The results identified certain factors that are often involved in catastrophic truck collisions. These include the following:
- Equipment malfunctions, such as issues with the tires, brakes, ignition system, lights or signals.
- Improper distribution of the load within the trailer can cause trucks to jackknife or tip over.
- Negligent truckers who are driving while drunk, distracted or extremely fatigued.
Bad weather conditions, such as ice, wind, rain, snow and fog can create slick and unsafe driving conditions. Truckers who are speeding through bad weather may lose control of the truck and could skid, slid off of the road or jackknife.
Fortunately, there are some things that drivers can do to minimize their chances of becoming involved in a tractor trailer accident. Always drive cautiously around big rigs, and stay out of the truckers’ blind spot. Try to pass trucks quickly and on the left to avoid lingering around them. Never pull out directly in front of a big rig, as truckers need a longer distance to come to a stop. By understanding the causes of truck accidents and how to avoid the, you may be able to save a life.