Virginia ranks third in the country for the largest state-maintained highway system, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. This system includes 1,118 miles of interstates, and the trucking industry plays an important role in transporting goods on these roads.
However, when trucking companies neglect their responsibilities, the consequences can be severe, leading to accidents that cause serious injuries. Understanding the factors contributing to these incidents is necessary for enhancing safety on the roads.
1. Inadequate maintenance and inspections
Trucking companies must ensure their vehicles undergo regular maintenance and inspections to identify and rectify any mechanical issues. Negligence in this regard can result in catastrophic consequences. Poorly maintained trucks may experience brake failures, tire blowouts or other mechanical malfunctions.
2. Driver fatigue and training
Trucking companies may push drivers to exceed legal limits on driving hours. This jeopardizes the well-being of everyone on the road.
Furthermore, inadequate training programs contribute to the likelihood of accidents, as inexperienced drivers may struggle to handle complex road situations.
3. Overloaded and improperly loaded trucks
Trucking companies must follow legal weight limits to maintain the stability and control of their vehicles. Negligence in loading practices, such as overloading or improper distribution of cargo, can lead to unbalanced trucks. It can increase the risks of rollovers or jackknife incidents. Inadequate securement of cargo also poses a danger to other motorists. Improperly loaded items may fall off and cause accidents.
Adherence to federal and state regulations helps trucking companies ensure safety across the board. A lack of compliance increases the likelihood of accidents, putting the lives of drivers and passengers in jeopardy.