Trucking and transportation rules and regulations expert witness Michael K. Napier of Napier Diversified Services, Inc., answers the question “What are some of the causes of tractor-trailer collisions?”
There are many different reasons for accidents involving large trucks include negligence on the part of the truck driver or the other vehicles involved. Others include:
* Aggressive drivers * Unrealistic schedules * Failure to inspect tires, brakes and lights * Tailgating * Long work-shifts * Driver fatigue * Cell phone use * Failure to install blind spot mirrors * Jackknifing * Speeding and ignoring reduced truck speed limit
A 18-wheeler truck traveling at 70 miles per hour has twice as much energy as one at 50 mph. In addition, automobiles are designed under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to encounter like size vehicles, not 80,000 pound trucks. Added hazards include the absence of rear and side bumpers and high front bumpers that punch into automobile passenger compartments. Together these factors account for the high percentage of serious injuries and deaths in these crashes.