What Causes Most Semi-Truck Accidents?
Of course, every auto accident is unique in some way, however, where semi-truck accidents are concerned, many are preventable because they are the result of human error. A large truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, depending on whether the trailer is loaded or empty; when a much smaller passenger vehicle collides with a commercial truck, the likelihood that the driver or passengers in the passenger vehicle will be seriously hurt or killed is very high. The following questions address the causes of most semi-truck accidents.
Is driver fatigue a cause of semi-truck accidents?
Truck driver fatigue is a major cause of trucking accidents. While there are federal regulations in place that limit the number of hours a truck driver can drive at a time, these laws are often circumvented by drivers who only get paid when they are behind the wheel. In most all cases, the trucking companies are aware their drivers are exceeding the number of allowable hours, and simply look the other way, since their financial bottom line is also dependent on the truck remaining on the highway. There are some that believe as many as 40-50 percent of semi-truck accidents are caused by driver fatigue, and, in the end, the trucking company who employs the truck driver is responsible for ensuring drivers follow regulations and keep proper logbooks.
Does driver distraction cause very many semi-truck accidents?
Since driver distraction is a huge factor in all auto accidents, it only stands to reason that semi-truck drivers also have distractions. In the interest of getting loads to and from destinations quickly, many truck drivers eat while they drive. And, like other drivers, a cell phone could be a distraction, talking to a passenger could be a distraction, changing radio stations or otherwise fiddling with GPS or truck controls could be a distraction, or, paying attention to something on the side of the road and daydreaming could also be a distraction. Distractions cause drivers to cease paying attention to the road and other drivers, thus raising the likelihood of an accident.
Do truck drivers drive aggressively?
Drivers who are short on time may drive in an aggressive, reckless, or otherwise unsafe manner. Because a truck is so much bigger than a passenger vehicle, truck drivers may tend to drive more aggressively. Some examples of aggressive driving include exceeding the speed limit (making it almost impossible to stop quickly), tailgating smaller vehicles or other trucks, changing lanes in a dangerous manner, or passing due to impatience, failing to adapt driving to adverse weather conditions, or “ganging up” on passenger car drivers with other truck drivers—attempting to intimidate other drivers into speeding up or moving off the road to let them by.
Is improperly loaded cargo a cause of semi-truck accidents?
Sometimes the cause of the accident is improperly loaded cargo. The truck may be loaded so quickly to get the truck driver back on the road, that shortcuts are taken. Further, inexperienced loaders may not fully understand the importance of properly distributing the weight on the trailer. Such mistakes can be deadly, as they can make the truck very difficult to maneuver or could cause the truck to jack-knife.
Does improper maintenance cause semi-truck accidents?
Proper maintenance of a semi-truck is crucial, particularly maintenance of the brakes and the tires. Most trucking companies have a maintenance company that takes care of the maintenance of the fleet of trucks. When regular maintenance is not done, the truck brakes could malfunction, or tires could blow out, causing an accident.
Is driver inexperience a factor in semi-truck accidents?
While all truck drivers are supposed to be fully trained before going out on the highway, in reality, many inexperienced drivers are put to work before they are ready. An inexperienced truck driver may not know how to cope with any number of issues that can occur on the roadways, therefore, could end up causing an accident.
Why Should I Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?
It is virtually a certainty that the trucking company will have an attorney—or a team of attorneys—at the scene of the accident within hours, before the vehicles are even removed. The goal of the trucking company will be to limit their liability to the extent possible, meaning they want to pay you nothing, or as little as possible for your truck accident, even if the accident was clearly the fault of the driver, the company, or another entity. You need your own attorney from Hoffoss Devall—someone who is well-versed in the complexities of truck accidents and who will fight for your rights and your future. Contact Hoffoss Devall today!