There are thousands of semi-trucks on America’s highways every day, hauling everything from food and furnishings, to building supplies and everything else that helps our country run. Unfortunately, there are also many tractor trailer wrecks as well, putting both truckers and passenger car occupants in harm’s way. Safety organizations and truck accident lawyers have identified some behaviors that can cause these accidents, many misunderstood because of various myths associated with 18-wheeler safety and the trucking industry in general. I-45 trucking accident attorneys bring a few of these myths to light below, suggesting that truck drivers and anyone else on the road understand the truth behind these inaccurate myths for greater safety.
Myth – Posted Ramp and Curve Speed Limits Apply to All Vehicles
Truth – The posted speed limits on entrance and exit ramps as well as other curves are for passenger cars and other small vehicles. Large trucks that take curves at posted speed limits can lose control or flip over. For this reason, all truck drivers should negotiate curves and ramps below posted speed limits.
Myth – Experienced Drivers Can Slow A Truck Traveling At A High Speed in Less Distance
Truth – Experience has nothing to do with slowing a fast-moving truck; that relies on speed, weight, and driving conditions. Even experienced truck drivers must leave enough room to stop without causing a collision – and increase that distance in less than ideal circumstances, since slowing usually takes longer.
Myth – Driving More Miles Allows Drivers to Make More Money
Truth – In reality, it usually works in the opposite way, since longer hours mean greater levels of fatigue, more mistakes, and a greater risk of tractor trailer wrecks. Drivers or companies not making enough money on trips are not properly budgeting. Operating with an increased overhead reduces profits, requiring drivers and companies to look at operating expenses to find the problems. A company does not control how much a driver gets paid per mile. This is controlled by the commercial shipping industry, specifically to prevent problems that could arise if shippers were in control.
Myth – Other Drivers Know How to Drive Around Big Trucks
Truth – Drivers of semi-trucks must always assume that other drivers do not realize the dangers of driving near big rigs. It should not be assumed all drivers understand about blind spots, or that trucks require a much greater stopping distance in order to actually come to a stop without hitting the vehicle in front of them. Truck drivers must always be alert and pay attention to their own actions and vehicle and the actions of the drivers around them to avoid trucking accidents.
Myth – Distractions Do Not Happen As Frequently As Suggested
Truth – In actuality, more things cause driver distraction than most drivers realize. Distracted driving, including drowsy driving from inadequate rest, is one of the major causes of tractor trailer wrecks. With cellphones, electronic logging, on-board devices, music playing, lack of quality sleep, and many others, drivers almost always face actions that distract them and should be avoided. Even eating or medications can cause distracted driving, so there is much more validity to this “myth” than many choose to believe.
I-45 trucking accident attorneys suggest the lesson to be learned is that trucking is a challenging, sometimes dangerous profession that poses risks to everyone on the road. Truck accident lawyers encourage truck drivers to be aware of the truths about trucking accidents and causes – and work to improve safety habits!
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