The timber harvesting industry is prominent in West Virginia. It is not uncommon to see logging trucks driving down the highway. Due to the sheer weight, size and unique loads of logging trucks, accidents involving them can have catastrophic consequences.
Improperly loaded trucks, poor maintenance and driver error are some of the most common causes of logging truck collisions. Keep reading to learn more about why these accidents happen.
1. Improper loading
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict rules for securing logs on trucks. Truck drivers must follow the detailed guidelines for securement. Logs are uniquely large and heavy, meaning any improper loading or securement can easily lead to the truck rolling over while making a turn. Logs may also fall off the trailer onto the road, creating a hazard.
2. Poor maintenance
The FMCSA also requires motor carriers to regularly inspect logging trucks and make appropriate repairs. If carriers do not follow these regulations, there can be brake failures, steering problems, faulty taillights, worn tires and other equipment issues. These issues that arise from poor maintenance can cause serious crashes.
3. Driver error
Sometimes the behavior of truck drivers is to blame. One of the most common driver errors is driver fatigue. Truck drivers may fail to follow hours of service rules and become fatigued, leading to inattentiveness, delayed reactions or even falling asleep. Other truck driver errors include drug use, failing to watch blind spots, taking a turn too fast or depowering front brakes.
When you are aware of the common causes of logging truck accidents, you are better equipped to avoid them. Due to the many risks associated with driving near large logging trucks, remember to always drive safely and defensively. Try your best to stay out of blind spots and leave adequate space between you and the truck. If you ever suffer injury in an accident with a logging truck, talk to a personal injury lawyer.