Major Ways Truck Drivers Cause Dangerous Truck Crashes
When a negligent truck driver causes an accident, the victims often suffer life-altering injuries or death because of the massive weight and size of the truck. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck wrecks resulted in 4,015 fatalities and 87,000 injuries in 2015. Injured victims and the families of those killed in these crashes may be entitled to compensation for their losses from the negligent trucker and trucking company. However, these cases can be complex due to the higher value of the claims and the many federal and state regulations governing truck drivers and trucking companies that could play a role in proving their negligence. Hiring an experienced truck accident attorney is essential in order to hold the negligent parties accountable.
What Are the Major Causes of Truck Accidents?
There are many different causes of truck accidents, and not all of them involve driver error. Determining the cause of the crash is important for identifying the party that is liable for compensating the victim. Here are common ways that these wrecks occur:
Driver error. Many truck accidents are caused by truck driver errors, such as speeding, failing to maintain a safe distance from the driver in front of him, improper lane changes, and violating other traffic laws. Even if the truck is driving at a slower speed, these errors can be deadly for the victims of the crash.
Fatigue. Truckers drive long hours day after day and are often pressured to drive longer than they should to deliver their load more quickly. In some cases, they may violate FMCSA hours of service regulations which prohibit them from driving more than 11 hours in a day. If truckers drive when they are drowsy, their concentration and reaction times are impaired, which can lead them to make decisions that result in an accident. Even worse, they could fall asleep at the wheel.
Distracted driving. Dangerous distracted driving practices include talking on a cellphone, texting, eating and drinking, and looking at a GPS. Whenever a trucker engages in distracted driving, his eyes and mind are off the road, even more dangerous since he is driving a massive truck.
Inexperience or lack of training. Driving a truck requires skill, experience, and training. When a trucker has insufficient experience or training, he may engage in unsafe driving practices that he does not even realize could increase the risk of a wreck.
Lack of maintenance. Trucking companies are required to regularly inspect and maintain their trucks. In addition, truckers are required to conduct pre-trip and post-trip inspections of their trucks and are not allowed to drive a truck in need of repair. When trucks are not properly inspected and maintained, a mechanical breakdown, such as a tire blowout or brake failure, could occur on the road that leads to a deadly accident.
Improper loading. If a load is too heavy, not distributed evenly, or not secured properly, a trucker can have difficulty steering and otherwise controlling the truck, which could result in a tire blowout, jackknife, or other type of truck accident. In addition, the load could fall off the truck—sometimes causing a massive multi-vehicle crash.
If you or a family member was injured in a truck accident, let our experienced truck accident attorneys help you file your claim, build a strong case of negligence against the trucker, trucking company, and other liable parties, and negotiate your settlement for you. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.