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Common Causes of Trucking Accidents

Common Causes of Trucking Accidents

Truck accidents can be catastrophic or even deadly, which is why it is critical for all drivers to be aware of the hazards of semi-trucks. Sharing the road with a large, unwieldy truck can be an everyday occurrence, but that doesn’t mean that the risks aren’t significant. The causes of these accidents can vary greatly, but there are some common causes that lead to dangerous trucking accidents. Here are some of the most frequent causes of truck accidents.

Driver Error

Truck drivers and auto drivers alike can make mistakes that place others on the road at risk. Truck drivers are held to a higher standard of care than many other drivers, due to the risk a truck poses, but mistakes can still occur. It is possible for truck drivers to drive recklessly, make mistaken judgment calls, drive while distracted, drive while drowsy, or drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A number of studies, however, show that passenger vehicles are to blame for trucking accidents in more than 80% of accidents studied. You can still be involved in a trucking accident without casing it, however. Truck drivers are trained to drive defensively in situations where another car may come close to causing an accident, but you can still be struck if the driver swerves into your vehicle, brakes suddenly, or loses control of the truck. This is why it is critical to always allow trucks extra space when driving, to pass trucks quickly, and to never tailgate or cut off a truck.

Lack of Proper Vehicle Maintenance

Commercial trucks drive thousands of miles every week, so it’s critical that they receive routine maintenance and repairs. When trucking companies, drivers, and maintenance crews fail to keep trucks in good working order, the results can be deadly. Truck drivers are required to inspect their truck at the start of every shift and file a vehicle maintenance report. If this step is overlooked, a small issue can lead to a large and serious accident.

Equipment Failure

While maintenance is critical for ensuring that trucks remain in safe working order at all times, it is also critical that manufacturers are diligent in maintaining the highest standards of care when designing and manufacturing trucks. Defective or dangerous parts can cause trucks to fail, leading to deadly accidents. Should a defective part be liable for a trucking accident, it is possible that the parts manufacturer, truck manufacturer, mechanic, or even the trucking company will be held responsible for the accident.

Poor Weather Conditions

Auto drivers can easily lose control in bad weather, but heavy trucks will be even more difficult to handle. Due to the heavy weight of semi-trucks, they have a far greater distance to safely stop than a car requires. In rainy, snowy, or icy weather, this distance is even greater. Wind is also a significant threat to large, boxy semi-trucks and can cause drivers to lose control of the truck. When truck drivers travel too fast for the conditions, they risk hydroplaning, jackknifing, or tipping over.

Improper Cargo Loading

The weight of cargo can influence the way that a truck handles. If cargo isn’t appropriately centered, then the truck can become far more prone to tipping. When ground crews load cargo, they must follow a series of industry regulations about the size, weight, and methods of securing cargo. If these rules are ignored, it can make the truck much harder to handle and lead to an accident.

Have you been injured in a trucking accident? You may be eligible to claim compensation for your injuries. Our Albuquerque trucking accident lawyer is ready to help you understand your legal options and advocate for your needs during your case. Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law is a passionate, experienced attorney, who is committed to protecting your rights.

Contact our team to schedule a free case evaluation. Call (505) 219-2176 to get started.

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