Big rigs, 18-wheelers, dump trucks, car haulers, and concrete trucks are very heavy vehicles. Often times they weigh between 25,000 to 80,000 pounds. Compare that to the weight of an average passenger car which typically weigh about 4,000 pounds. Due to their weight, big rigs, 18-wheelers, dump trucks, car haulers, and concrete trucks are much more likely to cause serious injury or death. We are often asked, though, what are the three most common causes of truck accidents in Phoenix (and the greater Phoenix area)? This blog addresses that question.
1. Driver Fatigue
Driver fatigue is typically the most common cause a truck accident in Phoenix. Trucking companies often pay their drivers by the mile or per delivery. This type of compensation often will incentivize drivers to work longer hours and drive more miles. To make more money, drivers will skip required breaks and drive on little to no sleep. Consequently, the drivers will be fatigued which is very dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), fatigued drivers control their Big rigs, 18-wheelers, dump trucks, car haulers, and concrete trucks like a drunk driver would. That’s scary and obviously very dangerous! There are Arizona and Federal laws and regulations that require trucking company drivers to take mandatory breaks. Unfortunately, many trucking companies don’t enforce those requirements on their drivers leading to driver fatigue.
2. Methamphetamine, Cocaine, and other stimulants
To stay awake, drive more miles, and make more money, truck drivers will take methamphetamine, cocaine, or other stimulants. In a NHTSA study, the Federal Government found 20% of nighttime weekend drivers tested positive for drugs. Methamphetamine, cocaine, and other stimulants cause drivers to:
- Drive erratically
- Drive aggressively
- Drive too fast
- Drift off the road
- Drift into other lanes
- Cause high speed impacts
When truck drivers are high on Methamphetamine, cocaine, and other stimulants, they are more likely to take risks regardless of road or weather conditions. These risky behaviors and actions will put you and your loved ones in harms way.
As truck drivers are coming down, or withdrawing from, Methamphetamine, cocaine, and other stimulants they will often experience fatigue causing them to swerve, drift, or fall asleep at the wheel.
3. Negligent Training and Supervision by the Trucking Company
One cause of truck accidents you may not think about is lack of proper training and inadequate supervision of the truck driver. Driving Big rigs, 18-wheelers, dump trucks, car haulers, and concrete trucks requires a lot of training for every scenario a truck driver can face on the road and constant supervision.
As we all have heard, “practice makes perfect.” Unfortunately, many trucking companies don’t provide adequate and appropriate training for its drivers. Without the appropriate training and supervision, truck drivers are more likely to:
- Drive fatigued
- Drive under the influence
- Drive too fast for weather or road conditions
- Not secure the load
- Not inspect their vehicle properly
- Violate State and Federal Laws
The information provided in this blog is not exhaustive and only details a small amount of the information an Experienced Truck Accident lawyer should know. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, contact us today or call Snyder & Wenner for a free consultation today at 602-224-0006.