Top 10 Causes of Delivery Truck Accidents
It seems like the roads are becoming busier and busier. A high number of people commute to work, travel for leisure, and take to the highways for other reasons. Along with normal automobiles, more and more delivery trucks are filling traffic. Therefore, delivery truck accidents are not uncommon. Unfortunately, these types of incidents can be very serious. It is important to recognize the most common causes of these crashes.
1. Delivery Driver Recklessness
Normally, delivery trucks are larger than regular cars that are on the road. Therefore, truck drivers must take care when operating their vehicles. For instance, it is advised for a truck driver to avoid sudden stops. Commonly, a delivery person may come to an unexpected stop or make a sudden turn, especially when trying to find a particular address. Larger trucks need extra space to maneuver. When a passenger vehicle is not prepared, an accident is likely to occur. Likewise, a truck driver must use extreme caution when backing up. A large van or truck may not have an adequate view behind the vehicle. It is easy for a driver to accidentally strike a pedestrian, cyclist, or another car that is in back of the truck. In the case of a FedEx or UPS truck, the driver may forget to engage the parking break during a stop. When this occurs, it is possible for the vehicle to slide forward and strike a person or another car. All these instances can happen without warning and can cause devastating consequences.
2. Bad Weather
Depending on the climate, it is common to experience adverse weather conditions while driving. These can hamper a delivery truck driver’s ability to view the road or to navigate without incident. For example, a pouring rain storm can cause a vehicle to hydroplane and lose control. Similarly, sudden temperature changes can lead to fog. This may severely compromise the driver’s ability to see the lanes and other vehicles. In cold climates, snow showers can develop at any time. White out conditions can cause temporary blindness and slippery roads. Also, snow and ice can quickly accumulate on the road surfaces, which can cause a vehicle to slip and slide. Since delivery vehicles are often heavy, it becomes difficult to brake or to maintain proper traction in slippery conditions without a collision. Even though weather forecasts are available, it is not always easy for delivery truck drivers to keep control.
3. Distracted Driving
Most delivery trucks are large and heavy. This makes them challenging to handle. A driver must pay extra attention at all times. However, there are instances where distractions occur, which can lead to terrible accidents. Most people realize that driving while operating a cell phone can be dangerous. It is easy to become sidetracked by a phone call or text. When a driver does not have all eyes and on the road, an accident is likely. Besides a cell phone, there are other distractions for delivery truck drivers. Commonly, delivery drivers are on the road for long periods of time. It is easy to become bored or fatigued, which causes the mind to wander. Also, a driver may be concentrating on finding a certain address, which prevents him or her from paying attention to road conditions. In the end, these types of distractions can cause a crash.
4. Inadequate Training
Today’s economy has led to an increased need for delivery truck drivers. There are a number of job openings that cannot be filled. When a company hires a driver, he or she may be pushed to get to work quickly. Sometimes, this means that a driver does not receive adequate training. Even though a delivery driver must have a proper license to run a commercial vehicle, he or she may not be ready to drive a truck alone. Also, a driver may not be used to operating a vehicle that carries flammable or caustic items. Often, FedEx and UPS vehicles are loaded with heavy boxes that shift during transportation, which can make the truck unsteady. All these reasons may lead to an accident. If the driver was not properly trained by an employer, the business may be held liable for the crash. It is essential that all delivery drivers receive quality training so that safety is upheld.
5. Mechanical Failure
A delivery truck is made differently than a normal car. There are a number of parts that can fail. Even though safety features are in place to make sure things remain secure, mechanical mishaps occur. For instance, air brakes may malfunction and fail to stop a truck. Also, tires my blow out or loose tread on the road. When this happens, a vehicle becomes unsteady and may collide with another automobile. There may be steering issues as well. All of these problems involve major vehicle parts. However, small parts like worn windshield wipers, dim headlights, and tail lights that are not wired correctly can make it difficult to drive in the dark or in stormy weather as well. All these problems can cause auto accidents that bring life-altering results.
6. Improperly Secured Goods
A high number of delivery truck accidents stem from improper loading. Vehicles that are used for shipping must be securely loaded before leaving the packing facility. If weight is not evenly distributed throughout the cargo area, things can become unstable and dangerous on the road. Although many people feel that securing large loads is important, small loads require just as much attention. As previously discussed, large trucks make wide or sudden turns during delivery. If things are not secured properly, they can move and cause a driver to lose control. In this case, the owner of the delivery truck is negligent.
7. Inadequate Supervision of Truck Drivers
To repeat, it is the responsibility of a company to make sure its delivery truck drivers have satisfactory supervision. There is more to driving a vehicle than steering. Administration must make sure that all employees have been adequately trained. Also, supervisors must faithfully monitor drivers so that they never operate a vehicle tired or impaired. It is the company’s responsibility to have safe drivers behind the wheels of its fleet. When an employee is safely handling his or her delivery truck, it lowers the likelihood of getting into a serious accident.
8. Violation of Safety Rules
All industries have set rules that must be followed. This is especially true in the transportation sector. When a company has one or more delivery vehicles, it is essential to adhere to regulations and safety policies so that delivery truck accidents are kept to a minimum. For instance, many states regulate drivers and make them keep activity logs. This tracks drivers’ rest and time behind the wheel. In other words, it ensures that drivers’ eyes are fresh and not fatigued. Failing to follow regulations that are in place for safety reasons is dangerous and opens a company up to fines. In times of an accident that was caused by failure to follow rules, a lawsuit may be filed.
9. Third Party Negligence
Even when a delivery driver follows the rules and operates a vehicle with care, accidents are still possible. Sometimes, a third party is liable for a crash that occurs. For example, a third party may be a repair shop that does not properly fix a broken vehicle. If a delivery vehicle was taken to a professional garage for brake work that was not completed correctly, this entity is responsible for any resulting accidents. Any third party that plays a direct role in a crash must be held accountable.
10. Passenger Vehicle or Other Commercial Vehicle Recklessness
As previously discussed, a commercial vehicle driver may participate in reckless behavior that leads to an accident. However, there are times when crashes are caused by passenger vehicle drivers who have made errors. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration notes that approximately 80 percent of serious auto accidents involve a commercial driver and a passenger vehicle. When a regular car swerves or loses control, is difficult for a truck or large deliver van to quickly adjust. In the end, this can lead to serious consequences. Similarly, another commercial vehicle may perform a reckless act that causes a crash.
Seeking Help from an Experienced Law Office
Since the amount of automobiles on the roads is increasing, the number of accidents is on the rise. Any type of vehicle crash can have devastating results. However, the large size of a delivery vehicle can make things much worse. After an accident, it is vital to make the negligent party pay for medical expenses and other damages. It is imperative to have an experienced law team on your side. When you want someone to stand up for your rights, we are ready to help. For a free consultation, contact us today.