Common Causes Of Truck Accidents

Commercial truck accidents happen all the time.

They often involve smaller vehicles that can’t get out of the way and are no match for the large semi-trucks.

Accidents involving these trucks can be catastrophic.

Due to their sheer size and amount of blind spots, it is easy to see how the driver of a small passenger car can be involved in a semi-truck crash.

Semi-truck accidents happen for most of the same reasons as passenger vehicle collisions.

However, some reasons for semi-truck accidents are more common.

In the article below, we will discuss the most common causes of truck accidents.

Driver Error

Driver error is the main reason for semi-truck crashes.

About eighty-eight percent of truck-related crashes are due to truck driver error.

This includes crashes caused by speed, a failure to check blind spots before switching lanes, and driver confusion.

Truck drivers can make mistakes such as negligent driving, speeding, distracted driving, or ​substance abuse.

A more major contributor to driver error is driver exhaustion.

Truck drivers are supposed to abide by Hours of Service policies, but many still work prolonged hours and take trips that are long distances.

This results in rest deprivation and fatigue, putting them at high risk for errors and wrecks. 

Driver Fatigue

Commercial truck drivers have high-pressure, high-stress jobs.

Truck companies often require drivers to deliver goods to a specific destination within a certain amount of time.

That means truck drivers have to consistently drive long distances with few breaks and rest.

Frequently, the distances drivers have to travel require several days on the road at a time.

Drivers don’t get enough sleep, and they are lucky if they have any quality sleep at all.

That causes them to lose concentration and coordination, making them slower to react to road situations.

They may also fall asleep while driving.

And to avoid falling asleep, they may do things like check their phone or adjust the radio, which are forms of distracted driving.

As we mentioned above, laws and regulations are in place for how many hours a trucker can drive in one shift, how much sleep they need, and when they should take rest breaks.

Unfortunately, many drivers and trucking companies don’t follow these rules, and driver fatigue continues to be a severe problem.

Mechanical Issues

Sometimes a trucking accident is the result of mechanical problems with the truck itself.

A common example of this is faulty brakes.

Heavy trucks have a complex braking system and any deficiency in the braking equipment may cause the system to fail resulting in an accident and severe injury.

Unsafe tires, unsecured cargo space, and outdated safety technology are other common types of mechanical failures that can lead to trucking accidents.

Trucking companies have safety inspections that ensure that their vehicles are safe to be on the road.

This doesn’t stop all unsafe trucks from hitting the road, leading to the risk of catastrophic accidents.

No matter how much caution someone practices on the road, including truckers, negligent practices in the trucking industry can cause devastating accidents and thousands of dollars of property damage.

Improper Training And Maintenance

All truck drivers need to complete hours of training before they can drive a tractor-trailer or commercial vehicle.

But similar to unsafe trucks making it to the road, some truck drivers manage to get on the road without meeting those requirements.

It takes plenty of experience and training to learn how to drive in bad weather safely, especially when maneuvering a large commercial truck.

Truckers should drive even slower than usual in poor weather conditions to prevent skidding, hydroplaning, or jackknifing.

Drivers who aren’t trained to properly manage poor conditions put themselves and other motorists at risk of fatal crashes.

The truck owner is also required to inspect each truck before it gets on the road.

However, there are costs associated with maintenance and it takes valuable time that the companies know can be used instead to make deliveries.

This causes routine maintenance to be skipped or rushed through,  causing unsafe trucks to make it on the roadways.

Truck wrecks sometimes occur because the driver lacks expertise in driving large commercial trucks.

Surprisingly, it’s not very difficult to obtain a commercial truck driver’s license, especially when the demand for truck drivers is high.

So, new drivers may lack the skill required to operate their vehicles.

a truck accident occurred on a highway

Speeding And Overtaking

Because of strict deadlines and long distances, it’s not always possible for truck drivers to make their deliveries on time.

However, many truck drivers try to make it anyway.

The pressure to make tight deadlines sometimes forces drivers to drive faster than the posted speed limits, what’s appropriate for a vehicle that size, or faster than what’s suitable for the road conditions.

If a driver’s job is on the line, they are more likely to drive faster to make it to their destination on time.

When you look in your rearview mirror to see an 18-wheeler bearing down on you from behind, you’re going to do what it takes to avoid a rear-end crash.

That often means swerving off the road or into another lane, which leads to different types of accidents.

Driving Under the Influence

It goes without saying that it is illegal in every state to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Commercial drivers are often held to a higher standard than the general public and can’t have as much alcohol in their system.

This is because the size, weight, and force of a semi-truck make them an inherent danger to everyone on the road.

Drivers who operate a semi, or any vehicle for that matter, under the influence, pose an extreme threat to themselves and everyone else on the road.

It is important after a truck accident to contact the police, as they would be able to test the truck driver.

Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer

If you have been involved in a truck accident and the trucker is responsible for the collision, you have a right to seek financial compensation.

You should be compensated for things like medical expenses, lost income, and the pain and suffering that you were forced to endure.

It only takes a few moments for a negligent truck driver or trucking company to change your life forever.

However, navigating the complex legal system requires significant time.

You need an experienced truck accident attorney you can trust that will stay the course and fight to protect your rights.

Working with a truck accident lawyer will make you more likely to receive adequate compensation, allowing you to focus on your physical recovery.

Your legal team also won’t let the insurance company push you around and ensure you receive a reasonable settlement.

If you’re ready to discuss your case with a team you can trust, Larry Nussbaum Trial Attorneys is here to help. 

Schedule a free consultation to get started.

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