Tractor Trailer Wrecks
Big trucks on the highway scare me and I’m not afraid to admit that. I’ve spent a lot of time driving on I-35 between San Antonio and Denton, and all around the DFW Metroplex. While driving, I’m mostly concerned with other drives especially when they are in big trucks. There’s plenty of them on the roadways because of all the construction in the DFW area, and this includes everything from tractor trailers to cement mixer to dump trucks.
But aren’t these drivers safe? They’re professional drivers, after all. Unfortunately, tractor trailer and other large trucks drivers are not as safe as we would hope. And when those drivers aren’t as safe as they should be, major destruction can happen.
Reasons for tractor trailer crashes
Drivers of those big trucks are under a lot of pressure from companies to get things done quickly and efficiently. The problem is, quick and efficient in a massive truck can sometimes mean cutting corners. Sure, companies need to make money, but at what cost? Cutting corners in these big trucks can mean community members on the roadways are collateral damage. Here are some common reasons for truck crashes.
Deadlines – Truckers are often under pressure to move what they’re hauling as fast as possible. This is just asking for cutting corners and blowing speed limits. The cut corners can include driving way too close to other drivers, driving too fast, or even driving for longer hours than allowed.
Improper Training – A lot of truck crashes are caused by improper training. In fact, some of the other causes listed here come back to poor training. Training drivers to safely operate these massive machines is critical to keeping us safe. With the proper training, drivers are more able to recognize signs of fatigue and better understand safety regulations.
Fatigue – Driver fatigue can result in catastrophe. Truckers can easily get fatigued – they drive for a long time, have strict deadlines, and may not get the rest they need to safely operate their vehicle.
Unsafe driving practices – Driving too close to others, not keeping enough space for emergencies, and turning in front of cars are some scenarios that often happen. Again, like a lot of other reasons for truck crashes, many companies do not provide adequate training and supervision of their drivers.
Driver inexperience – we all hope companies put safe drivers on the road. But in order to save costs, many companies sometimes put drivers on the road who aren’t experienced enough to adequately adhere to basic safety precautions designed to keep us all safe on the roadways.
It seems like there is a trend with these common types of crashes. That’s because tractor trailer companies often care more about profits than safety. Much like in regular car crashes, tractor trailer crashes are mostly preventable. But tractor trailers involve more weight, more regulations, and companies that can do more to keep us all safe.
How else are tractor trailer crashes different?
Heavy commercial vehicles are regulated by federal and state governments. Companies are required to make sure their drivers are following safety regulations. For example, there are regulations about how and when tractor trailers can be parked on the side of the roadways. When investigating tractor trailer crashes, it is important to dig into the various regulations that could have been broken.
What types of injuries are common in tractor trailer crashes?
Tractor trailers are massive mega machines that can cause some serious damage. Most vehicles on the road are no match for an 18-wheeler. If you’ve ever driven past an 18-wheeler wreck, you know that there’s usually a ton of damage.
Traumatic brain injuries – Typically a traumatic brain injury (TBI) results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. This means that you don’t even have to hit your head against anything to get a TBI. The shock and force some tractor trailer crashes have can easily cause a TBI, which can cause substantial problems in your life.
Spinal cord injuries – A spinal cord injury can have a devastating impact on a person’s life. The spinal cord carries messages from our brain to other parts of our body – like a highway of communication through our body. We need these pathways unobstructed and uninjured to carry out the movements we need throughout the day. A massive tractor trailer collision could result in spinal cord injuries.
Soft tissue injuries – Soft tissue injuries are also common tractor trailer crashes. Some of those injuries include skin lacerations, severe bruising, sprains, and strains. Depending on the severity of the crash, you could have permanent scaring and require surgery.
Broken bones – Tractor trailer crashes often involve broken bones. Like the other common injuries, the major force from a tractor trailer crash can lead to severe injuries.
The bottom line – tractor trailers can cause a lot of different kinds of injuries and those injuries could very well be life threatening.
How do insurance companies handle these crashes?
Insurance companies, the biggest bully on the block, want to keep people from receiving full justice. They love taking money from the careless people they protect, but hate paying people who were injured by the careless people and companies. Insurance companies will use every trick in the play book to minimize your injuries, make you feel like you’re a liar, and do whatever they can to make you go away or take less money.