Early in the morning of Memorial Day weekend of 2010, Highway 91 was closed for traffic. Just when everyone was about to enjoy a holiday away from the stressful mood of the city, a major highway in Corona, California was blocked due to an accident involving a big rig truck carrying explosive argon gas. The truck toppled and burst into flames after jackknifing when a sedan swerved and crashed on the dividing wall. Fortunately, for this incident, no one died or was seriously hurt.
This accident is just one of the many cases of truck and big rig accidents and highway accidents that occur not only in California cities like Los Angeles, but all across America. It not only costs a hefty amount of damages to the local government and the people involved, it also causes inconvenience to the uninvolved motorists using the highway. In the aforementioned case, many of the stranded people were probably driving to their vacation. Adverse situations may even cause deaths.
There's no denying that the trucking industry is vital to other companies and even to the country's economy. But it's also a fact that trucks and big rigs cause more devastating damages compared to an ordinary Los Angeles traffic accident.
What are the some of the most common mistakes truck drivers do that cause traffic accidents?
- Not loading the cargo properly: Big rig trucks usually connect to a trailer where items to transport are packed. The items should be placed properly, keeping in mind its weight and balance. Improperly packed items may cause jackknifing or rollovers.
- Poor driver condition: Trucks drivers often drive for a long time, sometimes even at night. These circumstances cause fatigue to the driver and make them feel sleepy, which is dangerous when behind the wheel. Under the federal law, truck drivers should stop to rest after ten hours of driving. But most of them have a schedule to keep and breaking it may cost the company.
- Equipment and machine maintenance: Due to its size and the hours of usage, maintaining a truck is more complicated compared to an ordinary car. A brake failure or tire blow-up poses greater danger not only to the people inside the truck but also to the other motorists on the highway.
- Ignoring the rules of driving: Changing lanes suddenly, tailgating, not using blind spot mirrors, and going beyond speed limit are just some of the common rules truck drivers often break. Companies should hire experienced truck drivers with unblemished driving record.