Collisions involving tractor trailers and other massive trucks could result in pileups even when only one vehicle collides with a truck. Large trucks can crush smaller cars, causing fatalities. Survivors may suffer severe injuries and permanent disabilities. Because the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland are among the top 10 busiest ports in the U.S., there are a lot of tractor trailers on California highways. It’s important for drivers to be aware of the impact that these large vehicles can have.
The U.S. economy relied on the trucking industry and its drivers to move 11.84 billion tons of cargo costing around $772 billion over the past several years. In order for drivers to get their freight to destinations on time and without experiencing any losses, everyone on the road needs to drive safely.
The trucking industry is facing a driver shortage. Many drivers will retire each year, and while hiring new drivers can replace those who leave, newer drivers may lack the experience and safe driving habits of long-time truckers.
The dangers of operating a truck
While the overwhelming majority of trucks reach their destinations in the United States, Mexico and Canada without any problems, some don’t. Trucking accidents led to 4,136 deaths in 2018, and truck collisions reflected 11% of all motor vehicle crashes.
Laws exist to help keep accidents from happening. For example, mandatory break rules for truck drivers intend to address fatigue-related crashes. However, some drivers ignore these and other rules, leading to collisions. Drunk and distracted driving both continue to cause deadly crashes, and curbing such incidents has proven to be difficult.