Commercial trucking accidents are a significant problem in the US. A total of 4,119 people died in large truck crashes in 2019. There can be several reasons and causes behind commercial trucking accidents, which ultimately means it can be challenging to understand liability, or fault, for the accident. Because there can be a number of factors at play, many truck accident victims choose to retain a truck accident lawyer to navigate the claims and ensure fair compensation for their losses.
In this blog post, we’ll review 7 causes of commercial trucking accidents.
Speeding is one of the most common causes of trucker-related accidents. When truckers are speeding, they have less time to react and control their vehicle when they encounter dangerous road conditions.
This leads to more accidents and can significantly contribute to a person's injury. Drivers who are driving below the posted speed limit on highways or streets will maintain the maximum level of control of their vehicles, which helps reduce trucker-related accidents.
Not Obeying Traffic Laws
Another common cause of trucking accidents is not obeying traffic laws. Truck drivers are often so tired that they may not realize when they have to stop. They also might make dangerous decisions while driving because they're in a hurry or aren't paying attention to what's happening on the road, which could lead them to hit other vehicles or even pedestrians.
Problems with Brakes and Tires
Mechanical failure, like issues with brakes and tires, are common in commercial trucking accidents. A driver or commercial trucking mechanic should inspect the truck’s brakes regularly to ensure they are in good working condition. Drivers who have trucks with faulty brakes might not know if they're bad if they can't feel it when the brake pads wear down.
Drivers should also always check their rig's tires regularly to make sure they are inflated and safe for use. A truck driver should always do this, at least before starting any long haul route.
Truckers need to ensure that they change their brakes, oil filters, belts, and other parts as needed. The trucker also should check their tire pressure regularly. This will help prevent them from running into problems with the brakes or tires on the road.
Distracted driving is a common cause of trucker-related accidents because distracted drivers often take their focus off the road and don't pay proper attention to what's happening around them. This can lead to running into other vehicles or pedestrians, resulting in severe injuries for the people involved.
In addition, truckers should avoid talking on their cell phones while driving, as this is one of the most common sources of distraction that causes truckers to hit other cars or pedestrians. It also makes it more likely that these people will be unable to control their vehicles and maintain their focus on the road.
One of the most prevalent causes of trucker-related accidents is driver fatigue. It's a significant factor in trucker-related accidents because drivers often work long hours, experience sleep deprivation and irregular schedules, and deal with high-stress levels.
Most drivers will combat driver fatigue by taking a nap at the end of their shift. However, this can also result in sleep deprivation because they'll only be able to sleep for a short time before they have to get back on the road.
Truckers should try to schedule their shifts as best as possible to get enough rest and not fall asleep while driving. They should finish up their routes earlier than usual or take extra long breaks when needed.
Lack of Experience
There are truck drivers that are inexperienced in terms of the distance and routes they're allowed to take. This might cause accidents because they don't have enough experience to predict the dangers and locations where they need to slow down.
Truck drivers also can't predict where potential blocking cars or pedestrians will be while they're on the road. Therefore, it's vital that newly licensed truckers spend time learning about the rules and safety before they start driving.
Driver error is another common cause of trucker-related accidents because it reflects when a truck driver does something wrong behind the wheel. Examples include:
- Running a red light
- Speeding through a yellow light
- Failing to stop at a stop sign
- Doing activities that could cause problems on the road
Liability in Commercial Trucking Accidents
Determining who is at-fault in a commercial truck accident is not simple since many parties can bear some portion of liability. By the numbers, commercial truck drivers are often at-fault, negligent or otherwise found to be at least partly liable for the accident. However, the trucking company could be found liable if they weren’t following safety guidelines and/or maintaining proper policies.
In commercial trucking accidents, it’s very possible that more than one company may own or bear responsibility for different parts of the truck. For example, the tractor might be owned and insured by one company or owner/operation, while the trailer might be owned and insured by another company. Liability in a commercial truck accident can be complex and is one of the key reasons to consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer to understand your case and your options.
Brandon J Broderick, Attorney at Law, Truck Accident Lawyers
Are you considering talking to an attorney about an injury you or a loved one sustained in a truck accident? At Brandon J Broderick, Attorney at Law, we believe in compassion and empathy and want to help. Contact us today for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success, we can get you the justice you deserve.