Truck accidents are much more likely to cause victims to suffer serious injuries or death than a car collision. This is because trucks are so much bigger and heavier than passenger vehicles, which can only protect passengers so much from a 30,000-pound semi-truck.
If you were hurt in a truck crash that was not your fault, it is important to understand why these collisions happen to determine if the truck driver’s negligence was the cause of yours. In addition, once you identify why your accident occurred, it will help you determine who the liable parties are—which could include more than just the trucker.
Five Top Reasons Truckers Cause Truck Crashes
Truck accidents are most frequently caused by truck driver errors. In addition, failure to comply with federal regulations governing the trucking industry that are designed to prevent accidents are often a contributing factor. Here are the five leading causes of these tragic accidents.
Truck drivers are under pressure to deliver their goods quickly and drive for long hours without a break. One of the most common causes of truck accidents is trucker fatigue—where drivers are fighting to stay awake or fall asleep at the wheel.
Driving while drowsy can be as dangerous as drunk driving. In addition, many fatigued truckers do not take rest periods required under the federal hours of service regulations—often with the encouragement of the trucking company.
Alcohol and Drug Use
While it is never safe to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or illegal drugs, this is especially dangerous when the driver is operating a big truck that is already more challenging to control. Alcohol and drug consumption can impair a trucker’s vision, judgment, reaction time, and much more—all essential driving skills needed to prevent a truck accident.
Distracted driving practices take a truck driver’s eyes and mind off their driving. They can be especially tempting to truck drivers who become bored when driving for hours at end. Dangerous ways that truckers become distracted and cause truck accidents include:
- Texting and talking on a cell phone
- Eating and drinking
- Reading a GPS
- Looking up something on the internet
- Engaging in personal grooming
- Fiddling with instrument controls
- Finding a podcast or music playlist
Truckers under pressure to deliver their load will often speed to meet their deadlines. Unfortunately, speeding can cause them to lose control of their truck or be unable to stop—which takes longer when a trucker is driving too fast—before it is too late to avoid a crash.
Trucking companies and truck drivers must maintain their trucks in a safe condition, repair them when necessary, and inspect the trucks for these issues before, during, and after a trip under federal regulations. Many preventable truck accidents are caused when brakes fail, tires blow out, and other maintenance problems are ignored. In some cases, a maintenance company that is responsible for the truck’s repairs could also face liability.
Were you or a family member injured or killed in a truck accident? Our dedicated and knowledgeable truck accident lawyers are here to pursue your claims against all liable parties and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call our Roswell office or start a live chat to schedule your free consultation to get answers to your questions and learn how we can assist you.