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Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Thursday, January 9th, 2020 By

Truck Accidents

It’s always a very frightening experience to be involved in a truck accident of any type, and according to NOLO, there has been a 20% increase in truck accidents since 2000. This is partly because there are simply more trucks on America’s highways than ever before, and the accidents associated with tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles are always very serious.

Our team of highly skilled personal injury attorneys has encountered countless truck accident cases, and throughout all of these cases, there have been reoccurring causations that ultimately lead to the collision and subsequent passenger vehicle injuries.

On this page, we’re going to discuss the common causes associated with truck accidents. By going through this information you’ll be able to better understand the necessary prevention methods for every time you get behind the wheel and legal information for you or your loved one’s case.

If you or a family member has suffered any kind of injury as a result of an accident involving a semi-truck or commercial vehicle, contact us for a free consultation so we can review the facts of your accident and collaborate with you on developing your best strategy for legal recourse.

Errors are Simply Human

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a comprehensive study revolving around the causation of truck accidents, and their number one cause was driver error. The study found that about 88% of truck-related collisions were caused by some form of error by the truck driver. The following factors have become known to play significant roles in truck driver error:

  • Truck driver error is 10 times more likely to be the root cause of a car accident of any type. This accident causation likelihood is greater than factors like dangerous weather conditions, ubiquitous roadway conditions, and several other factors.
  • Prescription medications and other drugs have become a major issue throughout the trucking industry in terms of accident causation. Many times these types of drugs will inhibit a truck driver’s response times and overall maneuverability in order to properly drive their large vehicles.
  • Many times a truck driver will be unfamiliar with the roads they’re on, which can sometimes lead to truck drivers being caught by surprise while on a new route.
  • General inattention and other types of distractions are also a leading cause of truck driver error, just like with everyone else on the road.

There are many forms of distracted driving, which we’ll detail below.

Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue does technically lead to many instances of truck driver error, but it’s a common cause of truck accidents that’s somewhat more complex than other driver error cases.

This is primarily because there are certain regulations and laws that many commercial truck drivers will break in terms of driving beyond a safe number of hours per day. All commercial truck drivers are required to take breaks throughout each day between their driving shifts, and they’re required a certain number of resting hours per day as well.

However, there are traffic delays and delivery deadlines that all truck drivers must account for, which makes many professional drivers feel as though they have to push themselves in order to make up for the time they may have lost. When truck drivers push themselves to work longer hours it will typically lead to a general lack of sleep, which can ultimately slow down the driver’s reflex time. There are also many instances in which truck drivers cause accidents by falling asleep at the wheel.

Commercial trucks are always going to invoke very serious accidents, including underride collisions, which almost always produce significantly larger amounts in property damage and more catastrophic injuries.

Equipment Malfunction

Another very common cause of truck accidents occurs within all types of equipment malfunctioning. These malfunctions are sometimes the result of a manufacturing or design error, but they’re typically more likely to occur when a trucking company simply doesn’t properly maintain their equipment over long periods of time.

The following are some of the common types of truck equipment malfunctions:

  • The overall wear and tear on a truck’s tires causing a blowout
  • Brakes that should’ve been changed in the past giving out
  • Any kind of failure with the truck’s transmission
  • Any cargo falling over or being loose as a result of improper loading
  • The truck’s trailer having an improper attachment
  • Any kind of defective side or rear lighting
  • Any kind of defects with the truck’s steering

Distracted Driving

Truck drivers are somewhat notorious for multi-tasking behind the wheel, and this may be because they are on such tight delivery schedules and feel as though they need to stay on the road. This clearly poses a serious threat to all surrounding passenger vehicles, and it goes without saying that distracted driving has become a serious issue for all drivers, not just commercial truck operators.

But many truck drivers will talk on their cell phones or CB radio, text, eat, or use their GPS systems while behind the wheel. We all know that being distracted while driving can result in the causation of collisions and other accidents, and it’s an unfortunate part of our driving culture that has begun to quickly leak into truck accidents.

Lack of Expertise/Unqualified Drivers

There are many instances in which a truck driver’s lack of expertise in driving large, commercial vehicles is the root cause of a collision. When it comes down to it, it’s not too difficult to earn a commercial truck driver’s license, and many new drivers who don’t have much experience will not know how to conduct the proper roadway maneuvers when driving in icy or steep-graded conditions.

It’s a very sad aspect of the industry, but many commercial truck drivers are undertrained when it comes to passing certain qualification training courses, and this ultimately leaves these drivers unqualified for their job.

Many commercial trucking companies don’t even have the necessary protocols to prohibit unqualified drivers from getting jobs and holding serious responsibilities behind the wheel, and as a result, this has to lead to inexperience being a major cause of truck accidents.

Contact Us for Help With Your Truck Accident Case

Determining liability within truck accidents is sometimes a lot easier said than done, which is one of the many reasons why you or your loved one is going to require the assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney in order to devise your best legal strategy and obtain the compensation that you rightfully are owed.

At DuBoff & Associates, CHTD, we know what it takes to properly represent trucking accident victims by utilizing our team of legal and medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, as well as other expert and eyewitnesses, to help you prove the causation of your collision and the ensuing damages that were incurred.

So if you or a family member has suffered any kind of injury as a result of an accident involving a commercial truck that was caused by the truck driver’s general negligence, then you should contact us for a free consultation so we can begin the necessary steps towards obtaining your rightful compensation.

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