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Accidents and semitrucks: The risk is great

The truckers who help to transport goods around the country have an important role in commerce. For the most part, these truckers are safe drivers who take pride in racking up miles of safety-critical incident-free hauls. Even so, when you are driving around truckers, there is always a chance that something amiss will occur and lead to an accident.

If you are involved in an accident with a semitruck, you must report the accident to the authorities. You might also need to seek medical care for any injuries you suffer. Ultimately, you have to find out the cause of the crash. These often fall into one of several categories. Here are some of the most common:

Equipment failure

When the equipment on a truck isn't functioning properly, there is a chance that the semitruck will crash into another vehicle. In some cases, equipment malfunctions might make a trucker lose control of the truck. Think about how hard it would be for the trucker to keep the vehicle going where it needs to go if something in the steering or the brakes is not working properly.

When equipment is the cause of the crash, determining why the equipment didn't work as intended becomes a priority. The problem could be caused by a defective part, one that was put on incorrectly, or one that is simply too worn out to continue to function. This is why truck maintenance is a priority.

Trucker error

Truckers make errors that lead to crashes. These include driving while distracted, fatigued or impaired. Aggressive driving and failing to follow the established traffic laws can also contribute to accidents. In most cases, these events could be avoided if the trucker was provided with the tools and flexibility to make decisions about the route and driving habits.

Trucking company policies

Many people don't realize just how much the trucking company's policies impact the way a trucker drives. When deadlines are too tight, truckers may not be able to stop for a rest when fatigued. They may feel the need to speed to get to the destinations on time. Instead of promising unrealistic deadlines, trucking companies should be sure that their truckers are empowered to make decisions based on the current conditions during the route, even if it means having to delay delivery a bit.

Other drivers

Other drivers might not realize that they have caused a semitruck to have an accident. When other vehicles zip in front of a semitruck, the trucker might not be able to stop in time. This could lead the truck driver to try to take other evasive actions, such as swerving. Unfortunately, if a vehicle is in the truckers' blind spot, it might be hit when the trucker tries to avoid the vehicle.

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Hartelius, Durocher & Winter, PC Channing Hartelius, Roland Durocher, Jeff Winter

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