Truck accidents usually differ from other types of accidents. This is mainly because of the size of the average truck. Often times, those involved in trucking accidents will suffer injuries that may leave a lasting effect on the victim’s physical, financial, and emotional health. The worrying statistics below prove that trucks continue to cause havoc on American roads.
- 5700 trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2021, an 18% increase from 2020.
- In 2021, 117,300 trucks were involved in accidents that resulted in some kind of injury.
- 5,788 people died in large-truck crashes in 2021, a 17% increase from 2020.
- Occupants of other vehicles suffered 71% of the injuries in large-truck accidents.
- 63% of crashes happened during daylight hours.
Considering how devastating truck accidents are, it is vital for drivers to know and follow safety guidelines. In the unfortunate event that you were involved in a truck accident, you should contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. They know more about truck accident lawsuits and will assist you in every step of your legal journey.
Statistically, American roads are becoming more dangerous by the day. This article lists 8 of the most common causes of truck accidents. If you are in a truck accident, you might need to consider an 18 wheeler accident attorney with experience, to guide you through a claim and potentially help you out if you were to take your case to court. Learning more about the causes of accidents gives the driver the tools to make every trip a safe one.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Inexperience/Poor Training: Given how big commercial trucks are, it is important that the driver manning the wheel be skilled and carry the necessary certification the state demands. Inexperienced or underqualified drivers exhibit unsafe driving techniques and drive with no concern for other motorists. This puts them, other vehicles on the road, and even pedestrians in danger.
Fatigue: Trucking companies often have tough deadlines. Truck drivers often work without rest to meet these deadlines, leading to fatigue. A tired driver has slow reaction times, may lose focus on the road, and mar the ability to make decisions. Another consequence of fatigue is a driver falling asleep at the wheel.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Commercial vehicles travel hundreds of miles for each trip. Therefore, it is necessary to keep all movable and immovable parts of a truck in top condition. Truck drivers and trucking companies should carry out regular inspections to make sure the vehicles are in working condition before they set out. Common truck faults to look out for are:
- Wheel bearing failures
- Hub separations
- Rusty axles
- Broken tail lights and mirrors
- Worn/defective brakes and tires
- Defective trailer hitch
Irresponsible Driving: A broad range of causes fall under this category. Irresponsible driving is when the driver resorts to unsafe driving practices, risking the safety of themselves and everybody else on the road. Common unsafe driving practices include:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Reckless driving
Road Hazards: Poor road conditions also lead to truck accidents. Trucks coming into contact with road hazards can cause the driver to lose control, swerve into other lanes, or sway out of the road. The road hazards that may lead to accidents include:
- Potholes/Uneven roads
Weather: Inclement weather may also play spoilsport in a truck driver’s trip. Poor weather has the ability to greatly reduce the driver’s visibility and cause them to lose control of their vehicle. The weather conditions that may lead to truck accidents are
- Wind storms
- Heavy rain
Improper Cargo Loading: Loading cargo is an often overlooked aspect. Trucking companies and drivers must make sure that the loaded cargo is secure. Cargo that is improperly loaded has the tendency to slip off the truck or shift during the trip. Cargo slipping off the truck often hits other motorists on the road, while cargo shifting may affect the stability of the truck. This makes it a more serious issue than one might initially think, and it is no surprise that lawyers like this Sacramento truck accident attorney list it as one of the most common dangers posed by trucks.
Multitasking/Distracted Driving: Performing another task while driving is something most drivers are guilty of. Sometimes drivers focus too much on the task they are trying to complete rather than the road, leading to accidents. The leading forms of distraction in a truck are:
- GPS systems
- Radio/audio systems
- Referring to maps
Those were the 8 causes that lead to truck accidents. Drivers can avoid most of them by simply sticking to the best practices and reporting any instance of safety violation to the concerned authorities. A driver must also take responsibility to report fellow truck drivers who engage in unsafe driving to make American roads a safer place for motorists.