A tractor trailer accident is almost always fatal for the other party. They’re much larger than a passenger vehicle, much harder to stop, and many people drive sporadically around them out of fear. A tractor trailer accident is always a possibility. So, we’re going to get down to the root of it and start to understand the main causes for tractor trailer crashes. That way, you know what to look for, how to adjust, and when to get away from a tractor trailer as soon as possible. Yes, the risk is always there. But, being prepared and having your exit route planned will increase your chances of avoiding such an accident.
Main Causes for Tractor Trailer Accident: Being Informed and Ready to Avoid
One main factor for consideration is that of driver fatigue. You have to think— a tractor trailer driver is typically having to make long hauls and drive at strange hours of the night. So, it is not uncommon for driver fatigue to play into a tractor trailer accident. Ultimately, there is no way of knowing a driver is experiencing this. One way you can assume they might be is to watch for sporadic movement, drifting into other lanes, or slow reaction time. If you begin to notice this, it might be a good idea for you to increase your following distance, stay alert, or move as far as possible from the vehicle.
Unexpected Stopping by other vehicles
A tractor trailer cannot stop as quickly as another vehicle. They have a lot more weight behind them and it is much more difficult for them to react to a sudden change in road conditions. The good thing about a tractor trailer is it sits up much higher than other vehicles. Therefore, they have a larger view of changing conditions. So, this makes it easier for them to react to changes ahead. However, if a driver pulls out in front of them quickly and proceeds to hit the brakes— they can only do so much.
So, one way to prepare for the possibility of this is to pay attention to the rest of the roadway. Watch for those road raging, impatient, sporadic drivers. You know, the one who is willing to cut you off just to get one more vehicle in front of everyone else? Yeah, watch for those guys.
Another problem that truck drivers might face is that of brake failure. There’s a lot more stress they’re put under, they have the potential to wear out more quickly, and if they don’t check often enough— it can be quite unexpected. So, how do you avoid becoming the victim of those faulty brakes? Ultimately, you have to always have it in the back of your mind. Maintain a solid following distance, watch for smoke or smell— especially on an up or down grade. Have a plan for worst case scenario at all times and you’ll be ready for anything.
Ultimately, anything can happen
These are a few main causes but they are by no means the only reasons for tractor trailer accident. Things happen, and freak accidents are always a possibility. So, the key is merely to stay alert. Watch for changing road conditions, roadway obstructions, or potentially problematic drivers. There’s no way of knowing what is to come. So, you must prepare.