Albuquerque is gaining notoriety for a rise in 18-wheeler accidents resulting in devastating damage, severe injuries, and fatalities. The city's unique combination of factors has created a challenging environment on its roadways, leading to a growing number of serious and fatal truck accidents.
Because of their sheer size and weight, commercial trucks, including tractor-trailers, dump trucks, and delivery trucks, pose a significant threat to other vehicles on the road. The number of "heavy" truck accidents has increased by almost 17 percent from 2017 to 2021, according to state data. A semi/large-truck crash occurred every 3 hours in New Mexico in 2021.
Common causes of semi-truck accidents
Trucker and/or trucking company negligence is a common factor in many cases involving semi-truck accidents, including:
- Driver fatigue: Long hours on the road can lead to driver fatigue, impairing judgment and reaction times. Federal regulations govern the number of hours truck drivers can work without rest, but violations can occur.
- Speeding: Truck drivers may exceed speed limits to meet tight delivery schedules. High speeds reduce a driver's ability to react to sudden changes in traffic conditions.
- Distracted Driving: Distractions such as texting, phone calls, eating, or using in-cab entertainment systems can divert a truck driver's attention from the road.
- Impaired Driving: Alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication misuse can impair a driver's ability to operate a semi-truck safely.
- Inadequate Training: Trucking companies must ensure their drivers receive proper training. Inadequately trained drivers may lack the skills to handle challenging road conditions or emergency situations.
- Overloaded or Poorly Loaded Trailers: Trucks carrying excessive loads or poorly balanced cargo can become unstable and difficult to control, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Mechanical Failures: Neglected vehicle maintenance can lead to mechanical failures, such as brake malfunctions or tire blowouts, which are more dangerous in large trucks.
- Reckless Driving: Aggressive driving behaviors like tailgating, sudden lane changes, and road rage can lead to accidents involving semi-trucks.
- Failure to Yield Right of Way: Semi-truck drivers may fail to yield the right of way, especially during lane changes or when merging onto highways.
- Blind Spots: Large trucks have significant blind spots, making it difficult for drivers to see nearby vehicles. Failure to check blind spots can result in accidents during lane changes or turns.
Albuquerque truck accident factors
Several factors are contributing to the rise in Albuquerque truck accidents. First, the location plays a significant role. New Mexico serves as a crucial logistics hub for commercial vehicles traveling in various directions. Albuquerque, being the largest city in the state, is strategically situated at the convergence of two major interstates, I-40 and I-25. These highways witness a constant influx of trucks, often traveling at high speeds, leading to traffic congestion and an increased risk of accidents.
Moreover, the ongoing urban growth in Albuquerque requires heavy goods vehicles to navigate through its expanding urban areas, bringing passenger vehicles in close proximity to large trucks. This proximity elevates the chances of collisions. Unfortunately, the state's infrastructure has struggled to keep up with its growing population and increased road usage. The inadequacy of road maintenance and upgrades further compounds the risks associated with truck accidents.
Finally, New Mexico's challenging weather conditions pose a continuous threat. High winds, sandstorms, and sudden rain frequently create hazardous road conditions for large trucks. Additionally, the scorching summer heat can contribute to tire blowouts, a significant cause of truck accidents in the region and nationwide.
Reducing truck accident risk
To address this concerning trend and improve road safety in New Mexico, some safety advocates suggest several measures, including:
- Implementing stricter regulations on the trucking industry to prioritize the health and safety of drivers.
- Investing in infrastructure upgrades to enhance road conditions.
- Advocating for comprehensive training programs for truck drivers, focusing on safe driving practices and accident avoidance techniques.
- Encouraging the adoption of accident avoidance technologies such as blind spot cameras and automated braking systems.
When to contact a truck accident lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Albuquerque or anywhere in New Mexico, it's essential to understand your potential legal options. Truck accidents can result in devastating injuries and significant financial loss, and if you're not careful, you could end up paying out of pocket for your accident-related expenses.
Our dedicated legal team understands the unique challenges associated with truck accident claims and lawsuits and is committed to fighting for your rights. We will work diligently to investigate the accident, identify responsible parties, and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Don't face the aftermath of a serious truck accident alone. Contact Szantho Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation and discuss your case with an experienced New Mexico truck accident lawyer. We are here to provide you with the support and advocacy you need during this challenging time.