Big rigs traverse Pennsylvania highways on their way to destinations across the nation every day. Given their size and the weight of their loads, a truck crash in any capacity can have a devastating outcome.
Understanding which factors increase your risk of crashing when you drive a big truck can help you stay safer. Your diligence in complying with federal regulations and developing responsible habits can make a difference in your ability to drive safely and with confidence.
As a truck driver, you most likely have to travel many hours between breaks. Being on the road for long distances without much of a change in scenery could induce fatigue. Not getting adequate rest before you drive, poor health habits and certain medications can all increase the risks of fatigue as well.
Recklessness is another cause of truck accidents. This includes several things such as the following:
- Loading your truck improperly
- Ignoring truck maintenance
- Overlooking repairs
- Exceeding the speed limit
- Following too closely
- Eating, using a cell phone and other distractions
Driving a big truck essentially means you drive a weapon. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh a staggering 80,000 pounds. If you crash into smaller vehicles at any speed, you could cause mass destruction and death. Operating your truck under the influence of drugs or alcohol drastically increases your chances of crashing.
Impairment interferes with your ability to make coherent decisions required for driving. You might miscalculate the distance between you and other vehicles. You could misjudge your position. Your chances of speeding and engaging in other reckless behaviors go up.
Knowing the reasons your truck could crash enables you to implement strategies to avoid such behaviors. Your decision could save your life or someone else’s.