Although trucks do not make up a large percentage of vehicles on our highways, they are involved in a significant number of traffic accidents each year in Washington State. In fact, each year there are about 40 fatal truck accidents and 1,400 serious truck accidents across the state. Why are truck accidents so common and so deadly? Here are a few reasons:
· Trucks weight many times more than an average car, pickup, or SUV, making a collision with a truck much more deadly than a collision with a similarly-sized vehicle. What might have been a fender-bender under normal circumstances could be deadly if a tractor-trailer is involved.
· Because of their size and weight, trucks can be much hard to maneuver, turn, and brake. A truck has much more difficulty avoiding accidents than smaller vehicles and takes much longer to stop.
· Because trucks are driven for many hours a day and pull extremely heavy loads, they are more prone to mechanical failures and brake problems. If a truck is not regularly tuned up, it could suffer any number of issues on the road that could put the cars around it in danger.
· Truck drivers are on the road for many hours each day - and many are operating their vehicles on too little sleep. Driver fatigue and driver substance abuse is common in the trucking industry and could lead to devastating truck accidents.
* Truck drivers are often distracted from what can be a monotonous job. The increased use of CB radios, cell phones, and other devices means more time that the driver's hands are not on the wheel and the driver's eyes are not on the road.