Semi trucks are an integral part of the U.S. economy, an essential element in keeping goods moving and companies in business. There are thousands of commercial trucks on our nation’s highways at any given moment. Unfortunately, these trucks are responsible for a disproportionate amount of roadway accidents. 18-wheeler wreck incidents have risen significantly over the past twenty years, becoming a definite cause for concern, although these trucks are responsible for fewer I-45 truck accidents per mile driven than passenger cars. Due to increased size and weight, an I-45 semi truck crash has the potential to cause much greater damage that results in a higher percentage of serious injuries and fatalities than any other vehicle.
Preventing tractor trailer accidents is an important topic that federal safety agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) continue to research, hopefully to make America’s highways safer. These organizations have repeatedly found in various studies a few main, significant causes for these accidents:
Driver Error – Rated as the most significant cause of trucking accidents today, driver error encompasses everything from fatigue due to lack of adequate rest, to intoxication or even driving under the influence of drugs. Driver impairment can also be caused by certain medications, distraction, poor attention, failure to load a truck correctly, missing a safety inspection or vehicle damage, and many other things. A high percentage of I-45 truck accidents are caused by mistakes and judgment errors made by drivers, meaning they are mostly preventable.
Poor Weather and Driving Conditions – Poor weather is something that every driver must contend with from time to time; the difference in outcome depends upon how well a driver handles the weather issue. Decreasing speed and driving more carefully is essential in to prevent accidents; however, tractor trailer trucks should pull over when road conditions deteriorate, the wind gets too high, visibility has been compromised, or for other weather-related reasons, rather than attempt to keep going.
Truck or Equipment Failure – Federally-required daily safety inspections as well as necessary maintenance and repair are essential for all commercial vehicles, especially for those that rack up miles so quickly, like big rigs. When loaded, these trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds; this means when traveling at highway speeds, all equipment must be functioning correctly. Brake failure, tire blowouts, trailer uncoupling, and other mechanical failures can be deadly. Semi-truck drivers and companies must both work to ensure that vehicles are always in the best mechanical shape in order to prevent failures that cause injurious and fatal truck accidents.
Preventing I-45 truck accidents requires taking a serious look at the three main causes of big rig wrecks, and changing habits to prevent them. Companies must increase driver safety compliance in these areas to reduce I-45 semi truck crash incidents, and help make U.S. highways safer for everyone. Through better awareness of these safety statistics and concerns, and promoting the use of telematic systems to aid the tracking of vehicle condition, driver compliance, and even weather conditions, 18-Wheeler wreck numbers can be reduced and highway safety increased!