When it comes to accidents on the road, truck accidents are some of the most serious. These accidents can cause significant injuries, and in some cases, fatalities. But what causes most truck accidents and how can we avoid them?
Like all automobile accidents, truck accidents and accidents involving commercial vehicles can be caused by a variety of factors, including driver negligence, mechanical failure, and road conditions. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of truck accidents.
Unfortunately, there are many cases where the cause of a commercial truck accident is unknown.
When it comes to investigating trucking accidents, it’s important to get all the facts. This includes gathering evidence from the scene of the accident, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing the truck driver’s records. It’s also important to determine the cause of the accident, as this can help prevent similar accidents in the future.
18-wheelers play a vital role in the United States economy. We rely on them for an infinite amount of things, and we are in no way saying semi-truck drivers are to blame for every accident.
The size of large commercial trucks makes them a deadly force.
We have all seen far to many photos of the destruction they can cause when they collide with a smaller personal vehicle, a building, a barrier, or any other object.
In 2017, over 100,000 people were injured from automobile accidents that involved at least one semi-truck and truck accident statistics reported that 4,102 people died from injuries sustained in truck accidents.
The United States Department of Transportation allows truck drivers to be behind the wheel for a maximum of eleven hours. In total, they can potentially be on the road for seventy-seven hours per week. For most people, working more than eight hours per day (or forty hours per week) would be extremely difficult and they aren’t operating huge machinery traveling 60 MPH.
If a truck driver gets tired and loses control of their vehicle for even a second, it can have costly and even deadly consequences.
In total, an estimated 13% of all truck accidents are caused by driver fatigue.
Semi-trucks have thousands of moving parts and, like most machinery, if one of them is not functioning properly, it can cause the entire machine to fail.
According to the FMCSA, 29% of crashes were caused by truck breaks not functioning properly.
If a truck is traveling at even minimal highway speeds of around 40 MPH and loses break functionality, it will be forced to collide with something or overturn to bring it to a stop.
As car accident attorneys in St. Louis, one of the largest cities in the United States, we constantly speak with clients that were injured because another driver was traveling at speeds to fast for the road or conditions.
This is also very common when it comes to commercial truck accidents. Truck drivers are forced to meet strict deadlines. We, as consumers, are also to blame for this. When we order a package, we expect it to be on time and because of this, freight distributors challenge their drivers to move cargo as quickly as possible. If the conditions or bad or there is a sudden stop in traffic, a large truck will have a difficult time stopping or maneuvering if they are traveling at high speeds.
When you drive on roads in which you are familiar, it is easy to know how fast you should drive, which turns to make, and which areas require additional attention. Truck drivers and commercial vehicle operators are often traveling across counties, states, and even the country, so they frequently drive on roads they do not know.
Because of this, it makes their job even more difficult. If they come up to a turn they were not expecting and another vehicle or pedestrian is nearby, the consequences could be severe.
Road conditions can also be a factor in truck accidents. Poorly maintained roads, potholes, and wet or icy roads can all contribute to truck accidents. Truck drivers need to be aware of road conditions and drive according to the conditions.
While medicine is a – quite literally – life-saving advancement, it can also lead to many dire events. Even though all medicine displays the warning signs on the bottle, both illegal and over-the-counter medications can cause minor to severe side effects.
If a driver gets drowsy, light-headed, or any other side effect caused by medication, they can lose focus and force a crash. In addition to medication, driving while intoxicated is an issue that also affects commercial vehicle drivers.
When it comes to truck accident prevention, there are a few steps that can be taken. The first step relies on both the driver of the truck and the company that employs the driver. These include requiring truck drivers to get regular rest breaks, implementing safety training for truck drivers, and ensuring that all truck drivers are properly licensed. Additionally, trucking companies should regularly inspect their vehicles and ensure that they are properly maintained.
For other drivers, staying cautious and aware of semi-trucks and commercial vehicles is of the utmost importance. Whether you are traveling at high speeds on a highway or simply driving through a neighborhood, commercial vehicles are large machines that can cause devastating results.
Once you have received medical attention and gotten to a safe place, we highly recommend you speak with our Missouri truck accident lawyers. A personal injury lawyer will be able to assess your case, the damages caused to your vehicle, and the injuries you sustained. Additionally, your local car accident attorney will have the resources to investigate your automobile accident and the circumstances surrounding the incident.
The employer of the truck driver and their insurance provider will do everything in their power to minimize your compensation and the amount of fault for which their driver is responsible. Speaking with an attorney is the best way to determine what type of compensation you are entitled.
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