Truck accidents are an all too common occurrence in Maryland. With their massive size and extra weight, large commercial trucks can have disastrous results if they crash into smaller passenger vehicles. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there were 3,852 deaths in large truck crashes in 2015. 69 percent of those deaths were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, while 16 percent were truck drivers and another 15 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. The number of people who died in large truck crashes was 22 percent higher in 2015 than in 2009, with the IIHS noting that the main problem is how vulnerable people traveling in smaller vehicles are.
Like with any type of accident, each one involving a truck is unique. However, there are some common causes linking the majority of truck accidents. Below we list the seven most common causes in Maryland. Stay alert!
- Distracted driving.
If you have ever driven a car, then you know how easily it is to get distracted. Unfortunately, truck drivers get just as easily distracted as anyone else, even if they are in control of a 10,000 lb. or more machine flying down the highway for 8-10 hours at a time. Any driver that allows themselves to be distracted by cell phones or anything else, risks the lives of everyone else on the road.
- Drowsy, fatigued driving.
Drivers are often under tight schedules. This results in them driving for much longer than they are permitted to and leads to fatigue that continues to cause many accidents. This happens even though the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has statutory limits to how long a shift behind the wheel can be.
- Speeding and Reckless Driving
Driving too fast for the road conditions, especially in an 18-wheeler, is reckless behavior that leads to catastrophic crashes and loss of life on the highway each and every day.
- Overloaded or Oversized trucks
If a truck is not properly loaded, it can cause the truck to rollover and make stopping difficult. Trucks already take longer to brake than regular passenger vehicles so if they are overloaded, then the likelihood of a crash only increases.
- Defective maintenance
Failure to keep up with required maintenance can cause safety equipment to malfunction and can also cause an accident. Again, as with a regular vehicle, any malfunctioning part, like brakes, tires, or steering mechanisms, causes accidents.
- Lack of or Poor Training
Whenever a driver is sent out on the road without the proper experience or training, there is a heightened risk of tragic results.
- Substance Abuse
As with regular cars, driving a large commercial truck while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is completely preventable.
Jack R. Sturgill has over 40 years’ experience protecting driver’s rights in Maryland. Our team has the experience to obtain a favorable result in your truck accident case. If you have been involved in a truck accident in Maryland, don’t hesitate to contact us today at (410) 296-6485.