A strong transportation infrastructure and close proximity to the Mississippi River make St. Louis a thriving logistics hub. This is especially true of the Riverbend region, which houses at least 75 prominent companies.
This naturally means that the city is crowded with commercial vehicles of all kinds, mainly trucks, and semi-trucks. Sadly, the downside is gruesome truck accidents, most of which are caused due to driver fatigue.
This article will delve deeper into the most common types of truck accidents that happen in St. Louis, along with their causes.
Most Common Types of Truck Accidents
St. Louis is a busy and heavily populated metropolitan area. Not only that, but the city also made it to the 2020 list of “Top Truck Bottleneck” regions in the US. This means this location is highly congested with commercial vehicles.
As a result, some of the most common accidents that happen in St. Louis include –
1. Rear End
Given the massive size of commercial trucks, they may take twice as much time and space as regular cars to come to a complete halt. This long-drawn process, especially with miscalculations on the part of the driver, often causes the truck to bump into other vehicles on the way.
2. Construction Zone
Truck drivers are warned of the dangers of a construction zone. Some of the common traffic risks in these areas include speeding, distractions, inadequate warning signs, and the presence of no-zones (due to the size of commercial trucks).
Failing to obey traffic rules in construction zones can prove to be fatal.
A rollover accident generally occurs due to improper loading of freight. Trucks are incredibly tall, and when they are not sufficiently loaded, they may easily roll over, given the high speed at which they move.
In this trucking accident, a truck’s trailer swings around. As a result, the vehicle ends up crossing numerous (adjacent) lanes, crashing into other vehicles along the way.
5. Blind Spot
Large commercial trucks have particular “no-zone” areas or blind spots. These include close proximity to the truck’s front, back, and sides. If any vehicle gets too close to these spots, the trucker cannot avoid a collision in case of an emergency.
This is why vehicle drivers are warned not to drive in a truck’s blind spots.
6. Unsecured Cargo
Sometimes, the cargo on a truck is not sufficiently secured. Such cargo may fly off due to the truck’s speed. Flying cargo (especially if bulky) can cause the trucker to lose control of the wheel.
7. Tire Blowout
Did you know that the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded that tire blowouts accounted for at least 12,000 trucking accidents every year? Though a tire blowing out is not an issue when the truck is idle, the same can cause fatal misbalance while speeding.
8 Wide Turns
Large commercial trucks are not built for sharp, unexpected, wide turns. If the driver does not play by the books, they risk swinging into nearby traffic and crashing into other vehicles.
This crash usually happens when the truck does not stop and instead crashes into a nearby vehicle. If the vehicle is significantly small, the passengers may suffer fatal injuries.
These collisions happen when two vehicles (one of which is a commercial truck) crash into each other from opposite directions. They may cause casualties or leave victims with severe disabilities.
Most Common Causes for Such Accidents
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a joint study on truck accidents. Three main reasons were found – the truck (defects), the driver (fatigue and distractions), and environmental reasons (excessive rain).
Besides these three main causes for truck accidents in St. Louis, there were others as well, such as –
- Prescription drugs-induced drowsiness
- Road problems
- Excessive speed
- Interruption of traffic flow
- Braking problems
- Insufficient surveillance
- Unfamiliar roads
- Overweight cargo
- Maintenance failures
- Reckless driving
- Lack of proper safety inspections
Compensation for the Victims
People who may have suffered severe injuries, loss of loved ones, and other losses due to trucking accidents in St. Louis can file a lawsuit. However, the variables surrounding such accidents are so complicated that only a trusted St. Louis trucking accident lawyer can help.
As per TorHoerman Law, there can be more than one liable party in case of a trucking accident. The liable parties may include –
- The trucker or driver
- The truck or trailer owner
- The company leasing the vehicle
- The truck maintenance workers or company
- The truck manufacturer if the accident was caused due to defective parts
- The people responsible for loading the cargo or the company
- Other parties whose negligence may have played a role in the accident
After each unique case is thoroughly examined, the victims are given the justice they deserve, along with the relevant compensation.
Preventing truck accidents in a place like St. Louis requires the contribution of numerous people, not just the truck manufacturer, leaser, or driver. Motorists should allow sufficient space while passing from a truck’s side, front, or back.
Moreover, it is never wise to play ‘chicken’ with a speeding truck. Motorists are recommended to allow a truck to overtake. Plus, all parties must be well-rested and avoid distractions while driving. Finally, every truck should be examined thoroughly before the trucker is allowed to drive.
As for the trucker, they must follow all traffic rules, conduct a driving pre-check, and avoid consuming drugs or alcohol prior to driving. It’s all for one and one for all toward safety!