Top Ten Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can result in some of the most serious injuries possible on the road. What follows are the top ten causes of truck accidents that are the fault of the truck driver or their company, any of which could form the basis for a personal injury lawsuit. If any of these situations apply to you, contact an experienced attorney to discuss your case.
Commercial trucking is a business. As such, drivers operate under strict deadlines and are often not paid if a shipment arrives late. This may force them to drive for days on end with little rest, and this fatigue reduces reaction times and can result in a lack of awareness of their surroundings.
Federal laws strictly control the maximum weight for all types of vehicles. Overloaded trailers make the entire vehicle unsteady and can make the trucks overturn during a sudden stop.
Driving on the open road can be mind-numbing. Truckers may do anything from listen to the radio at a loud volume to text while driving in an attempt to entertain themselves. Unfortunately, many such activities distract the driver from the road, potentially causing an increased risk of accidents.
Since drivers operate on strict deadlines, they are strongly incentivized to complete their jobs on time. Driving in excess of the speed limit is a common tactic used to shave minutes off of delivery times. Anyone who speeds makes the roads unsafe, but this is especially true when multi-ton vehicles gain momentum or lose control.
Improper Lane Changes
Trucks have large blind spots that even the most well-aligned mirrors cannot cover. If truckers do not check their surroundings before making a lane change, they are liable to collide with other vehicles.
Moisture on roads makes any driving hazardous. This effect is magnified for larger commercial vehicles. Slick roads can greatly increase the necessary distance needed to come to an emergency stop or cause a driver to lose control during turns.
The sides of tractor trailers can act like sails on a boat, catching the wind and throwing a truck from side to side or even pushing them into other lanes. Truckers should be aware of this and take appropriate caution to avoid other vehicles during periods of stiff wind.
Failing to Follow Traffic Signals
All drivers are required to follow traffic signals such as stop signs, lights, and yield signs. The consequences of failing to do so can be especially catastrophic in the case of commercial trucks.
Driving with Faulty Equipment
All commercial trucks should be fully inspected before they leave the garage. However, malfunctions do happen while out on the road that may escape a mechanic’s eye. Depending on the circumstances, this failure to maintain the vehicle may amount to negligence on the part of the mechanic or the truck company that failed to properly inspect the vehicle.
Improperly Secured Cargo
All cargo inside a commercial truck must be properly secured, especially on vehicles where the cargo is carried in the open air, such as a flat-bed. If this cargo becomes dislodged during a trip, it can fall on the road or shift inside the truck, potentially causing an accident.
Talking to an Attorney About What May Have Caused Your Truck Accident
Any of these top ten causes of truck accidents could be an example of negligence by a truck driver or trucking company. If you were injured in a truck accident recently, you may wish to speak with a lawyer who could help you understand your rights and pursue at-fault parties for compensation.