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Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents

Tractor Trailers are the backbone of our ground shipping economy. No matter what time of day or night you happen to be on the highway, you can bet that you’ll have to share the road with big rig drivers.Click here to find more about trucking accident help for victims.

As valuable a component of our infrastructure as they are, tractor trailers are also responsible for some of the most damaging and deadly crashes on the road. With a vehicle of that weight and momentum, even a small slip up can mean big consequences for every driver on the road.13

This article is going to explore some of the most common causes of big rig accidents. Once you understand these causes you can use this information to better protect yourself and react in case you find yourself the victim of just such an incident.

Common Tractor Trailer Accident Causes

* Driver Aggression. When you’re on a very strict timetable, aggression can crop up whether the driver realizes they are doing it or not. A big rig is essentially the elephant of the road and can bully around any other vehicle as much as it wants. When a driver’s bonus or even job is on the line, they can get aggressive and make mistakes.

* Driver Fatigue. Another symptom of demanding schedules is driver fatigue. Even casual motorists know what it is like to get droopy eyed behind the wheel. Big rig drivers are on the road constantly and need to keep going as much as possible, even if they get tired. There are laws regulating the amount of hours drivers can go without stopping, but fatigue can set in nonetheless.

* Shifting Cargo. Sometimes the driver isn’t truly at fault at all. If a large amount of cargo in the back of the rig shifts, falls, or otherwise disrupts the vehicle, the weight of the truck can be off-balanced and the result can be an unfortunate crash.14

* Bad Maintenance and Inspection. Mechanical error is dangerous because it happens so suddenly. The driver is moving along when something breaks or pops and he/she loses control of the vehicle.

* Drunk Driving. DUI’s are not the exclusive property of party goers who get behind the wheel. Truckers who decide to have a couple of drinks while out on the road are even more dangerous due to the massive vehicle they have under their control.

* Distraction. Cell phones, DVDs, mp3 players…you name it. Modern drivers have more to be distracted by than ever before. The successful operation of a big rig is complex and if the driver takes their focus away even for just a few seconds the results can be deadly.

* Driver Error. Sometimes the driver simply makes a mistake. They cut a corner too shirt, or fail to brake in time, or get insufficient momentum to make it up a steep incline.