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  • A Truck Accident Attorney's Break Down of Causes

    Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents

    What causes semi-truck accidents in the United States

    Unfortunately, there are many cases where the cause of a commercial truck accident is unknown.

    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.

    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, barrier, or any other object.

    Truck Accident Causes Statistics

    • 29% of truck accidents were caused by issues with the breaks
    • 23% of truck accidents were caused by unsafe driving speeds
    • 22% of truck accidents were caused by the driver being unfamiliar with the road/area
    • 20% of truck accidents were caused by unsafe road conditions
    • 19% of truck accidents were caused by over-the-counter or illegal drug side effects

    Truck accidents caused by driver fatigue

    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.

    Truck accidents caused by problems with breaks

    Semi-trucks have thousands of moving parts and, like most machinery, if one of them is not functioning properly, it can cause then entire them to fail.

    According to the FMCSA, 29% of crashes were caused by a trucks breaks not functioning properly.

    If a truck is traveling at even minimal highways 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.

    Truck accidents caused by driving speed

    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 driving 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.

    Truck accidents caused by driving on unfamiliar roads

    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.

    For truck drivers, they 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.

    Truck accidents caused by impaired drivers

    While medicine is a – quite literally – a 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.

    More information

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