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Causes of Baltimore Tractor Trailer Crashes

Why Baltimore Tractor Trailer Crashes Happen

When you ride down busy Maryland roads such as I-695 or I-295, you share the road with a variety of different vehicles. Some of the automobiles are the same size as yours, while others are much bigger. For instance, tractor trailers are much longer and taller than most vehicles on the road, which is often quite frightening.

If the tractor trailer around you has to suddenly slam on its brakes, or the driver isn’t paying attention to what is occurring around it, it could collide into you and other vehicles around it, causing serious injuries, or even death. Baltimore tractor trailer crashes are dangerous, and their causes are often avoidable.

Driver Fatigue

Tractor trailer drivers are known for their long hours on the job. Drivers are often kept on tight schedules, which can cause them to skimp on sleep and drive instead, in order to make it to their destinations on time.

Not getting enough sleep can cause a driver to make many mistakes. Along with falling asleep at the wheel, the driver will often have a slower reaction time, and many not be as aware of his surroundings. For instance, a fatigued mind will often take longer to make a decision. Sometimes, taking just one second longer than usual to make a choice can cause disaster.

Additionally, the driver may not be as sharp as he would if he had received enough sleep the night before. He may not see the car that just drove in front of him and rear-end the vehicle as a result. He may also not notice that the traffic light turned red and drive through the intersection instead of stopping. Sleep deprivation is serious and quite dangerous.

Staring at the road ahead and sitting for long periods of time can also cause accidents. Drivers lose focus after looking at the same scenery for hours and can cause crashes because of it.

Driving Under the Influence

You would hope that all tractor trailer drivers take their jobs and responsibilities seriously. After all, they operate heavy vehicles that are filled with gas. If they get into crashes, people can become seriously injured or even worse. The reality is, however, that too many drivers are under the influence.

Alcohol and drugs are often the causes of many tractor trailer accidents. Drivers use the substances to keep themselves awake and to provide entertainment. Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol can cause the drivers to operate the vehicles improperly and cause major collisions.

Truck companies often conduct drug tests for its drivers, but not all offending drivers are found, which allows them to put motorists’ lives in danger everyday when they continue to operate their tractor trailers under the influence.

Faulty Equipment

Maintaining a tractor trailer is expensive; however, it is necessary to keep it driving safely. Unfortunately, many companies cut corners in order to save some money which can result in unsafely operating tractor trailers sharing the road with many vehicles.

Not receiving the proper maintenance could result in improperly inflated tires, bad engines, worn belts and hoses and other malfunctions that aren’t noticed because of a lack of inspection. Additionally, a manufacture default may go undetected because the vehicle isn’t examined as often as it should be.

Dangerous Loads

Tractor trailers often carry heavy loads for long distances. When these loads are unbalanced or exceed the proper weight, motorists are often in danger.

Over- and improperly-loaded tractor trailers are prone to:

  • Difficulty stopping or increased stopping times
  • Brake failures
  • Overturning due to load shifts
  • Tire blowouts
  • Increased speed going downhill
  • Difficulty steering if the load shifts
  • Difficulty steering or controlling the vehicle, particularly in times of emergency

Although drivers are often required to check in at weigh stations along their routes, many do not and drive unsafe vehicles that can cause serious collisions as a result.

Improper Training/Supervision

Tractor trailer drivers are required to obtain special licenses called CDLs before operating the rigs. Truckers are also supposed to keep up with ongoing training that teaches them how to respond to bad weather, emergencies, poor road conditions and mechanical failures. Unfortunately, some companies allow their drivers to operate their vehicles without receiving their continuing education.

Additionally, trucking companies are supposed to monitor the actions of their drivers, including their driving log information and driving habits. If the business doesn’t keep a close eye on its drivers, or take actions when the driver is committing negligent acts, deadly accidents can occur.

Baltimore tractor trailer crashes often end in tragedy. If you were the victim of such an accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation. Contact the lawyers of Jimeno & Gray, P.A., to speak with an attorney about your accident.

Request your free copy of the book A Crash Course in Maryland Accidents, written by attorney Gregory Jimeno, when you call.