Every year, semi-trucks and big rigs cause 10% of all traffic fatalities in Kentucky. This high number is startling, considering that these vehicles make up just 1% of all cars on the road. However, understanding the most common causes of these accidents can help you if you need a Pikeville truck accident lawyer and want to ensure that you get the best compensation possible for your semi-truck accident.
The Most Common Causes of Kentucky Trucking Accidents
Every year, Kentucky has around 10,000 commercial semi-truck accidents. These crashes involve one or more vehicles and can be pretty devastating. After all, a semi-truck is a huge and imposing vehicle. When one crashes, it can trigger a variety of different problems with others.
For instance, semi-trucks caused more damage to vehicles than other types of crashes and can hurt people more severely in these vehicles. As a result, it is vital to understand the different types of causes that may occur. Doing so can help to improve your chances of success in a lawsuit.
Distracted Driving – The Most Common Cause
Every year, around 40% of all truck driving accidents in Kentucky are due to distracted driving. What counts as distracted driving? Any kind of behavior that takes the trucker’s attention away from the road. Just a few of the most common types include:
- Boredom caused by excessive driving times
- Checking cellphones for texts or calls during delivery
- Wandering attention caused by excessive fatigue
- Changing the radio station while driving
- Talking to other drivers with a CB radio
This type of problem is so common that many trucking companies have voluntarily limited the number of hours their truckers can ride. And many states strictly limit the number of hours, as well.
Yielding Errors – Another Common Issue
Truckers must yield the right of way to other drivers at intersections, roundabouts, and different situations when the situation demands it. However, some truckers may be in a hurry or not paying enough attention and fail to yield, causing a severe crash in the process.
This accident is common in Kentucky due to the unique layout of its roads and its laws restricting various types of yielding behaviors. Unfortunately, this problem often occurs in busy areas, causing a multi-car accident that may be very dangerous and even deadly.
Tailgating – Usually Caused By other Drivers
While truck drivers may tailgate other drivers from time to time, many accidents of this type occur when other drivers stick too close to the trucker. Usually, this happens in areas where a slowdown has occurred, such as if a trucker is slowly increasing its speed after stopping.
No matter who causes this accident, tailgating is a serious problem because it can cause devastating damage to the other vehicles and almost minimal troubles with the semi-truck. Therefore, drivers must avoid tailgating as much as possible whenever near truckers.
Driving Too Fast – A Common Impulse for Truckers
Around 20% of all truck-related accidents occur due to speeding. This problem is not unusual because many truckers are under strict timelines and must make their delivery to avoid losing money. Just a few situations in which speeding may be common for many truckers include:
- Through small residential areas where the trucker may feel they can get away with it
- When the driver is already late due to road construction or other issues
- On freeways where other people may already be riding very fast by the trucker
- At night, when the trucker may not think their speed will be noticed
To be fair to truckers, though, many semi-truck accidents in Kentucky also occur due to other speeding drivers. Many of Kentucky’s roads are pretty rural and not patrolled heavily by police officers. As a result, speeding occurs throughout the state at a very high level.
Impaired Driving – Frighteningly Common
Truck drivers are human and, just like anybody else, they may feel a need to use various substances while driving. This problem is significant in Kentucky, which has a heavy influence of drugs that run rampant throughout its rural communities. Just a few substances truckers may abuse include:
- Alcohol – Truckers may ingest a drink or two at restaurants or bars when they stop or even take some drinks with them because they are addicted to its physical effects.
- Prescription Drugs – Some truckers may misuse prescription medications, such as using various types of stimulants to stay awake on the road, leading to a crash.
- Illegal Substances – Though increasingly rare, some truckers may use substances like cocaine or methamphetamine to stay awake longer and drive more poorly as a result.
The exact number of crashes caused by this behavior is uncertain. However, it is clear that impaired driving does occur in many truckers. Unfortunately, this problem is one that other drivers cannot prepare for adequately. Thankfully, they have a higher chance of winning their lawsuit as a result.
Don’t Neglect Legal Help
If you experience a truck crash due to any of these issues, it is vital to reach out to a truck accident lawyer who can help you. These professionals will help you create a case that gives you the best chance of getting compensation. They start by gathering evidence and testimony and will recreate the scene of the accident in court. In this way, you can show that you deserve cash for your injuries.