As families across the country gather for the holidays, one thing is on everyone's mind—getting to their destination safely. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done, as the roads tend to be busier than usual, often leading to increased accidents, especially accidents involving big rigs. Here we'll look at why these accidents may become more common during the holiday season and what you can do to stay safe while driving.
Common Causes of Accidents
According to IIHS, in 2020, 4,014 people lost their lives in large truck accidents. Many factors can impact this tragic statistic, especially during the holidays.
Harsh Driving Conditions
It is a truck driver’s job to drive around the state, or even the country, delivering goods and materials to their destination. While some states, like Alabama (especially in the southern part of the state), do not see a significant change in weather during the holidays, that's not the case for other regions in the country who often experience icy and snowy conditions. If certain precautions aren’t taken while driving on slippery, snowy or icy roads, sometimes even the most seasoned drivers can find themselves in an accident. This season will be busy, so it’s best to keep an eye out for big rigs and drive defensively when needed.
Rushing and Speeding
Because people are more busy during the holiday season, it’s common for drivers, especially truck drivers, to be in a rush. While most people on the road are heading out to shop for leisure or day-to-day errands during this time of year, truck drivers are trying to meet deadlines which leads to trouble.
As stated earlier, there is an abundance of drivers on the roads during the holidays. From students returning home from college to families heading out of town for road trips, accidents are naturally on the rise during this time of year.
Our advice? Avoid traveling during peak hours, try to carpool, and drive defensively. These tips can help protect you and your loved ones during this holiday season. When driving near 18-wheelers, it is particularly important to drive defensively, including avoiding:
● driving in a truck’s blindspot;
● sudden braking in front of a big truck;
● any unnecessary lane changes.
Unfortunately, during this time of year, trucking companies may skip routine maintenance to save time and money. They may send trucks onto the roads without proper safety modifications or perhaps with worn-out brakes in an effort to meet strict deadlines. Regardless of their choices, if a company fails to keep a truck maintained, it can result in a severe or deadly accident.
Remember, the gifts and food you’re giving and receiving were at some point transported primarily by truck. Truck drivers work each day excessively to ensure the goods make it to their destination on time. This ultimately leads to fatigue if the driver cannot get adequate rest. With even a minimal amount of fatigue, a driver’s performance can significantly decline, leading to an increased risk of accidents.
Trucking Accident Attorneys
Truck accidents can leave many with life-threatening injuries, which makes it nearly impossible to care for yourself and your family. If you sustain injuries from a trucking accident this holiday season, we would like to hear from you. Our truck accident attorneys have helped numerous clients achieve the results they deserve, and we won’t hesitate to do the same for you.