According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 2 million or 13 % of the 15 million trucks registered all across the U.S. are semi-trailers, also called big rigs or 18-wheelers. Of these 2 million semi-trailers, about half a million get involved in fatal accidents, taking as many as 5,000 lives every year.

Due to their size and length, semi-trailers are harder to maneuver compared to any other type of vehicle and, besides requiring a wider and longer maneuvering space and a longer distance to get to a full stop, these also have “no-zone” areas or blind spots where smaller vehicles disappear from the view of truck drivers. These are just a handful of reasons why operation of semi-trailers requires special skills and training. Thus, before a person is issued a commercial driver’s license (CDL), he or she will first need to complete all requirements and pass all tests which will show that he or she is able to safely operate a truck and can actually handle one.

Though the size and length of trucks would make accidents more catastrophic, these are not the real reasons why accidents occur. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), majority of truck accidents are due to errors committed by drivers of semi-trailers. The most common errors committed by truck driver which have been identified by the FMCSA include: driver fatigue; impaired driving due to use of alcohol, prescription or over-the-counter-drugs, or illegal drugs; overspeeding; driving too fast for road conditions; lack of experience and/or training in operating a semi-trailer; unfamiliarity with the road; distracted driving; lack of focus on the road; failure to check “no-zone” areas or blind spots; improper attachment of trailer; improper loading of cargo; and, failure to make sure that truck brakes are in good working condition.

In its website, The Mokaram Law Firm mentions how severe truck accidents can be; however, rather than these being avoided, these continue to happen because many truck drivers or trucking companies fail to regard the safety of other drivers on the road or disregard laws put in place to regulate trucking activities. Due to this, and due to the severity of his or her injuries, a victim should never allow the liable party’s negligence or recklessness to go unnoticed and unpunished.


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