Motor vehicle accidents happen every day, but when those accidents involve large trucks they can be extra dangerous. When a tractor trailer is in an accident, it takes a collision and increases the impact exponentially, from an average of 4000 pounds for a car to up to 80,000 pounds with a large truck.
With this size difference, what might have been a small incident with another vehicle can become a huge accident.
It’s no surprise, then, that injuries sustained in an accident are likely to be more severe or life-threatening than many other types of motor vehicle accidents.
Since they have the potential to cause so much damage, it is important to understand what the most common causes of trucking accidents are so drivers can be alert and cautious.
5 Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
From avoidable to unpreventable, these five reasons are the source of the majority of large truck accidents around the world.
1. Irresponsible driver actions. It’s a sad fact of life that drivers now more than ever need to be aware of other drivers on the road. You used to be able to take for granted that the other cars around you were paying attention, but now the odds are that they are on their phone, texting, or otherwise distracted.
Distracted tractor trailer drivers are even more dangerous. Driving while drowsy, while intoxicated, or reckless and distracted driving accounts for 56% of large truck accidents.
2. Weather conditions.
Inclement weather is an unfortunate problem for untrained drivers and those unfamiliar with driving in certain types of weather. Choosing to drive through dangerous blizzards or hurricanes is preventable and should not be done, but normal conditions like rain, snow, and ice are expected of truck drivers.
These conditions can be dangerous for truckers who are traveling too fast. Emergency braking can cause a truck to skid, jackknife, or hydroplane.
3. Not keeping up with maintenance.
A trucker’s schedule can be stressful, packed with tight deadlines that leave little room for downtime. Unfortunately, that downtime is necessary to keep up with the maintenance required for these huge vehicles.
When a trucker neglects brake pads, tire care, and other normal wear and tear to the vehicle, it can result in problems while the truck is in motion and serious accidents.
Usually when this happens, the driver is responsible, but the trucking companies and maintenance crews are also at fault. If you were injured in a trucking accident due to poor maintenance, you should contact an attorney to help you navigate through the often-confusing legalities of truck accident claims.
Expert attorneys that specialize in trucking accidents, like Greene Broillet & Wheeler LLP, can guide you through the process.
4. Basic equipment failure.
While not keeping up with maintenance is definitely dangerous and can cause accidents, sometimes just plain faulty equipment from the manufacturer is the reason behind it. If equipment fails while a truck is in motion, it can cause severe damage, possibly even fatalities.
Equipment manufacturers who were negligent in ensuring their parts met stringent standards can be found liable for a trucking accident. Anyone who handled that part down the line, like the truck manufacturer, trucking company, or the mechanic, may also be liable.
If you were injured in an accident caused by equipment failure, it is best if you find a knowledgeable attorney to help you with your claim.
5. Driver’s actions.
Whether the actions in question were the truck driver’s or the other vehicles, illegal maneuvering, assuming wrongly about another driver’s movements, unfamiliarity with the roadway, or inadequately surveilling surrounding traffic causes many preventable accidents.
What Should You Do if You Were Injured in a Trucking Accident?
Trucking accidents can be life-changing due to the intense weight and size of the vehicles involved. This can create severe damage.
If you were injured in a trucking accident, contact an expert personal injury attorney who specializes in trucking accidents to give you your next steps.