Being in a truck accident cannot be compared to a car accident; it’s a lot more complicated. If you were in a truck accident, you probably have questions: “Who is responsible? Who do I collect damages from? Could it have been the truck driver’s fault?” By their nature, truck accidents involve more players than car accidents. From the truck driver to the truck’s owner to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), it takes industry know-how to properly navigate a truck accident claim.
Do you have a valid claim? By better understanding the common causes of truck accidents and the laws that govern the commercial trucking industry, you’ll be in a better position to determine if you have a valid personal injury claim.
For starters, let’s take a look at the agency that oversees the trucking industry, the FMCSA: “The primary mission of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and busses,” says the FMCSA. According to FMCSA’s “2017 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics,” in 2015, large trucks were involved in 3,838 fatal crashes. With that statistic in mind, let’s look at the common truck driver violations:
According to the FMCSA, the top roadside truck driver violations in 2016 were:
- Log violations (171,415)
- Driver’s record of duty status is not current (74,566)
- Speeding violations (64,487)
- Driver does not speak English (66,339)
- Seat belt violations (59,964)
- Hours of service violations (58,757)
The above statistics only represent the “top” truck driver violations; there are many more. Like drunk drivers, we can only assume that many more truck drivers are “breaking the rules.” This 2016 data only represents the drivers who were caught.
Top Causes of Trucking Accidents
While drivers of passenger vehicles cause their fair share accidents that involve semi-trucks, the focus of this post is truck driver negligence. Here are the top causes of truck accidents involving truck driver negligence:
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving
- Taking a turn too fast
- Driving an overloaded truck
- Driving a poorly-maintained truck
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
While we may not see, or hear about deadly truck accidents caused by negligent truck drivers that often, we assure you, they do happen. The Orange County Register published an article on a deadly crash that occurred in Mission Viejo, California entitled, “Truck driver charged in deaths of Coble children.” Here is an excerpt from the article: “The Coble children – Kyle, 5, Emma, 4, and Katie, 2, - died May 4 after a big rig slammed into the back of the family’s Chrysler minivan on I-5 in Mission Viejo.
“Court records show Romero [the truck driver] had been cited in 2002 and 2006 for speeding in a tractor-trailer. He was also ticketed for driving without is lights on in 2006 and in 1997 for driving with a suspended license,” the Register reported.
Need a New Jersey truck accident attorney? Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law at (201) 870-1909!