Semi-truck accidents can be physically and emotionally devastating for the accident victims who suffer life-altering injuries, or the family members of a lost loved one. Being involved in an accident with a negligent commercial driver makes it much more likely that you will suffer from serious or catastrophic injuries than if you were hit by another passenger vehicle, or even death. It’s important for every driver on the road to learn about how we can decrease the number of semi-truck accidents happening in Minnesota each year.
Various factors contribute to the risk of a semi-truck accident. Here are some of the most common risk factors.
Driver Fatigue: Long hours of driving without rest can lead to fatigue, which impairs a driver’s judgment and reaction time. Drivers who are sleep-deprived or drowsy are more likely to cause an accident. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has created regulations that limit the number of hours a semi-truck driver can work each week to promote adequate rest, but unfortunately, this doesn’t eliminate accidents.
Speeding: Excessive speed can make it difficult for drivers to control their vehicles, especially in adverse weather conditions or when the road is slippery. Commercial vehicles require a longer stopping distance than smaller vehicles, and speeding can increase the risk of a collision.
Distracted Driving: Distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or adjusting the radio can take a driver’s attention away from the road and increase the risk of an accident. There are sometimes more distractions in semi-truck cabs, which can cause drivers to drift into other lanes, fail to brake, or ignore speed limits.
Poor Maintenance: Semi-trucks require regular maintenance to ensure that all parts are working correctly. Many of these parts are absolutely integral to the safety of the driver and every other vehicle on the road. Failure to maintain the vehicle can lead to brake failure, tire blowouts, and other mechanical problems that can cause serious accidents.
Driving under the Influence: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a significant risk factor for semi-truck accidents. Impaired drivers have slower reaction times, impaired judgment, and may have difficulty staying awake. Minnesota’s DWI laws are strict for commercial drivers, but they aren’t enough to stop every commercial driver from drinking before getting behind the wheel.
Adverse Weather Conditions: Heavy rain, snow, ice, and fog can make it difficult for drivers to see and control their vehicles. Minnesota has notoriously intense winter weather, and conditions can change quickly. Long haul truckers from out of state may not be used to driving in these adverse conditions. It’s essential for all drivers to adjust their driving speed and be more cautious during adverse weather conditions, especially if you are the one driving near a semi-truck in your passenger vehicle. Defensive driving could save your life.
Semi-Truck Personal Injury Accident Lawyers
When you’ve been hurt in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, your focus should be on recovery. Sieben Edmunds Miller’s job is fighting on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. When you hire one of our experienced semi-truck accident lawyers we will deal with the complex and complicated process of conducting our own investigation on your behalf to determine who was responsible for the crash. We will also get in touch with the necessary insurance companies, which may include the semi-truck driver’s personal insurance and the trucking company’s insurance. Contact us to request a free case evaluation.