18-wheelers are dangerous. These monstrous vehicles can be up to 25 times the weight of an average passenger vehicle. When these behemoth trucks are involved in an accident, the results are catastrophic; they crush passenger vehicles and the people inside.
It would seem that with such capacity for harm, these trucks would be more careful. However, government studies show that 18-wheelers account for only 4% of the vehicles on the road, but they are involved in 1 in 8 of the traffic fatalities. Sadly, many truckers are not as careful as they should be. They get tired, distracted, or drive too fast or too close to other vehicles.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in their study, found that the poor performance of an 18-wheeler driver accounted for 87% of the reasons behind the accident. The study went on to say the following: “The most common associated factors recorded were driver factors, such as legal drug use, traveling too fast for conditions, unfamiliarity with the roadway, inadequate surveillance, fatigue, and feeling under pressure from motor carriers.”
The government has tried to create federal regulations to limit the amount of time truckers can be on the road. However, many drivers have found ways around these regulations or ignore them completely.
Nevertheless, 18-wheelers are important to our country and economy and a part of American life. It is important to do all we can to minimize our risks when driving around these big trucks. As a defensive driver, you should understand that these big trucks are nothing like passenger vehicles. With thousands of pounds of cargo, it is difficult for a big truck to accelerate, stop, and turn. Keep your distance when traveling around an 18-wheeler!
For example, don't cut them off. When driving in front of one, avoid making sudden breaks. Watch the truck driver’s rearview mirror and try to anticipate what the truck driver is about to do. A good rule of thumb is that if you cannot see the truck driver, he or she cannot see you. Just remember, these mammoth trucks are dangerous and your ability to drive cautiously around them can sometimes make the difference between life and death.
An accident with one of these trucks can change your life. The pain, anxiety, and financial worries that inevitably follow one of these accidents can become unbearable. It does not have to be that way. If you, or someone you know, has been injured by an 18-wheeler, call us today at 210-880-9395 for a free consultation. These cases require a great deal of experience and preparation and we can help.