As a motorist, you likely share the roadways with large commercial trucks and 18-wheelers on a daily basis, with many of these vehicles outweighing your car by several tons. When accidents happen, the resulting injuries and property damage are usually catastrophic, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that more than 4,000 people died in crashes involving semitrucks during 2018 alone.
Accidents with 18-wheelers have some causes in common for the drivers of these massive vehicles.
Federal regulations limit commercial truckers to how far or how long they can drive during a single shift before they must stop to sleep. However, some drivers might push themselves past that limit if they have multiple loads to deliver or their company operates on a tight schedule.
Fatigue and alcohol impairment have very similar symptoms. When drivers tire, their reaction time may slow or they may not pay as much attention to the road, which could cause them to weave into your car or accidentally run you off the road.
Some truck drivers hurry to drop off their loads and return to their commercial docks on time, which may cause some to exceed the speed limit. This may increase the risk of an accident because it takes these large trucks longer to brake than a smaller vehicle. When a big rig tries to brake too quickly, it can jackknife and cause its trailer section to collide with your vehicle.
The drivers of large commercial trucks are much less likely to die in an accident than those driving their personal vehicles.