Accidents involving passenger vehicles and 18-wheelers often result in the severe personal injury or wrongful death of the driver or passengers of the vehicles. 18-wheelers greatly outweigh passenger vehicles and can cause a serious 18-wheeler accident if the driver is not diligent while driving.
Examples of causes of 18-wheeler accidents that involve the negligence of the driver and include:
- Speeding or aggressive driving
- Driver error
- Driver distraction
- Following too close
- Driver fatigue
Drivers of 18-wheelers often keep long driving hours due to unrealistic schedules created by the truck driving company. Many drivers are forced to drive for more hours than is allowed by law and, thus, become greatly fatigued. It is estimated that 31% of 18-wheleer accidents are the result of truck driver fatigue.
A fatigued driver will not have the same reaction time as a well rested driver and may react too late and be unable to avoid an accident. A fatigued driver will not be able to stay focused on the road and may veer off the road or accidentally change lanes into another vehicle. Truck drivers who are fatigued may also have trouble avoiding a truck accident in bad weather.
Many 18-wheeler drivers will use legal and illegal stimulants to try to keep themselves awake. These stimulate can create a worse situation and lead to a dangerous 18-wheeler accident.