Causes of Truck Accidents
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Because of their size and weight, semi-trucks and other commercial trucks can cause devastating accidents. Consider this: a loaded semi-truck weighs about 80,000 pounds, while a passenger vehicle only averages 3,000 pounds. This makes a huge difference when it comes to an accident.
Each year there are thousands of people who are injured and hundreds who die in accidents with large trucks. It is estimated that one out of nine accidents on the road and highways involved trucks, and almost all of those end up with serious injuries or fatalities. Types of truck accidents depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident.
The causes of truck accidents fall into two categories:
- Negligent driving on behalf of the passenger vehicle
- Negligent driving on behalf of the truck driver
If the truck driver was acting negligently at the time of the accident, then the driver or his or her employer could be held liable for your injuries and losses.
What are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Trucks not only are much heavier and larger than passenger vehicles, but their safety comes down to the person behind the wheel. Truck drivers in today’s industry are forced to meet impossible deadlines, work long shifts and rush rather than consider safety.
Some common causes of truck accidents include:
- Speeding – A truck driver must meet a specific delivery time in order to get their full job pay. Some companies even offer bonuses for arriving early. To do that, a driver must speed, which puts everyone on the road at risk.
- Fatigued Driving – Some drivers will drive for days without adequate rest, and only relying on an hour nap here and there. These fatigued drivers are serious safety hazards on the road. All it takes is accidentally nodding off at the wheel for a split second to cause an accident. Also, fatigued drivers are less likely to react quickly to situations on the road, increasing the chances for an accident.
- Unsecured Cargo – Cargo must be evenly distributed on a truck so that it can turn and maneuver properly. Truck drivers are supposed to check on their cargo to make sure it doesn’t shift while driving, but also to make sure after each delivery that their truck is still evenly distributed.
- Rollovers – Semi truck rollovers are a common occurrence on freeways, especially in poor weather conditions. But, sometimes a driver that is cut off or has to react too quickly may accidentally jack-knife their semi-truck, which usually causes it to rollover.
- Poor Maintenance –When a truck is not maintained, such as putting proper air in the tires, checking brakes, etc. it can be deadly. As with a vehicle, you must maintain on a regular basis considering how many miles they drive each month. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, 23 percent out of the two million trucks they inspected violated safety codes.
- Inadequate Stopping Distances – Trucks are heavier; therefore, they take longer to stop even at slower speeds. If a driver misjudges how much space he needs to stop, he or she could rear end another vehicle.
- Inexperienced Drivers – Driving a semi-truck requires a commercial license, but just because someone has a license does not mean that he or she is experienced. Many components on a semi-truck are different than a passenger vehicle. Inexperienced drivers may not know how to properly react in situations, may not know how to operate the vehicle in poor weather, etc. – all putting other drivers at risk.
- Longer Combinations – Some drivers can carry up to three trailers. This makes it even more difficult to control the back trailer, and even make turns, which may cause a truck with too many trailers to cause a wreck.
- Distracted Driving – Semi-truck drivers can become distracted just as easily as other drivers. They have a lot of equipment to operate and some truck drivers have been known to talk on the phone or text while driving.
Were You Injured in a Truck Accident? Contact Truck Accident Attorneys West Palm Beach at Leifer Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a semi-truck, you may be entitled to compensation. Meet with the truck accident attorneys West Palm Beach at Leifer Law Firm today for a free consultation regarding your case.
We can tell you right away if you have a valid claim. Our lawyers are here to protect your rights and we will not settle for anything less.