Causes of Truck Accidents

If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in an accident with a large truck, it probably doesn’t help to think that your accident may have been averted. The trucking industry has taken great strides in becoming safer, but they still do not do everything they can to make trucks safe on the road. Instead, every attempt to improve the safety of trucks on the road is met by furious resistance from the trucking industry, which exploits truck drivers and puts your family at risk in the name of profit.

If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be able to get compensation for your injury or loss. Please search our directory of accident attorneys to find an experienced truck accident attorney near you.

The Driver Is Critical

When you are considering a truck accident lawsuit, you need to understand that truck accidents are not purely accidental. In nearly 90% of truck accidents, the driver’s performance is the critical reason behind the accident. The driver may cause an accident because they are:

  • Falling asleep at the wheel

  • Inattentive due to fatigue

  • Driving when distracted

  • Unfamiliar with the area they are in

  • Driving too fast for conditions

  • Unable to control the vehicle

  • Taking over-the-counter, prescription, or illicit drugs

Truck drivers are some of the best drivers on the road, but they are often asked to drive for such excessively long shifts and at such odd hours that their performance degrades and puts them at increased risk for accidents.

Truck Maintenance Plays a Role

Although the driver is the most important cause of truck accidents, the maintenance of the vehicle can also contribute to the accident risk. The truck itself is the cause of 10% of accidents, and many associated factors related to the truck can significantly increase the risk of an accident, including:

  • Brake failure (a factor in nearly 30% of truck accidents)

  • Tire failure

  • Cargo shift (a factor in only 4% of accidents, but when it occurs, the risk of accidents increases by 56 times!)

These truck and maintenance issues show that trucking companies often do not pay enough attention to the maintenance of trucks and the proper securement of cargo.

The Road Is Almost Never the Cause of Accidents

Although roadway problems are often present at the time of the accident, they are only considered critical for 3% of accidents.

Is Profit the Number One Cause of Accidents?

Many of the factors that are behind trucking accidents come back to the trucking company’s motivation for profit.

Trucking companies encourage drivers to push the limits of human endurance by driving the maximum legal limit of hours, nearly 80 hours a week (and more before recent law changes!) This encourages drivers to drive when they feel fatigued, make poor decisions like driving too fast for conditions, and take over-the-counter stimulants.

Trucking companies’ lack of maintenance for their vehicles also increase risk. Saving money by postponing replacement of brakes or tires might make good financial sense, but it also increases accident risks.

When trucking companies make these decisions, they should be held responsible for the accidents they cause. An expert truck accident attorney can help you do that by making a damage claim against the trucking company on your behalf.

To talk to an experienced truck accident attorney, please contact today.