In 2019, over 4,100 people died in truck accidents. Due to the size and weight of trucks, passengers in cars, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists often suffer fatal injuries.
Truck driver accidents are much more dangerous than an accident involving passenger vehicles. Read on to learn more about the common causes of truck accidents.
1. Driver Error
Making a mistake while driving is one of the biggest causes of truck accidents. Inexperienced drivers, those not familiar with the roads they are on, or those who fail to follow traffic signs and conditions all contribute to truck accidents.
When a driver is inexperienced, they may not know how to react in certain weather conditions, such as snow or ice. When the roadway is damaged, inexperienced drivers may not know how to handle their truck or avoid the damage without causing an accident.
Adequate training is necessary, as truck drivers have control of a vehicle that could easily result in the death of those in the cars around them if there is a collision.
2. Driver Fatigue
There are laws that stipulate the number of consecutive hours a trucker can drive, how many breaks they must take, and how much sleep they need. However, because of supply chain demands, contracts that specify that deliveries will occur within a certain time, and things such as weather that may throw the schedule off, driver fatigue is a real problem.
Even though regulations are in place, some drivers and companies ignore these rules, just as there are drivers that don’t follow other traffic laws. Tired drivers can fall asleep at the wheel, have delayed response time, and lack coordination when maneuvering the truck through traffic.
3. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a problem for any driver, but consider how much more dangerous it can be for a truck driver, who is driving a truck that is 20 to 30 times heavier than a passenger car. A truck driver who is texting and driving, for example, can cause a multiple car pileup on a highway in a split second.
4. Malfunctioning Equipment
Brake problems are one of the common malfunctions in trucks. Malfunctioning brakes mean that truckers can’t stop fast enough when approaching stopped traffic or can’t get control of their truck when going down a hill.
Consider the case of the truck driver in Colorado who was driving 85 mph when his brakes failed and he tried to pull over to avoid the traffic that was stopped, but another truck had already done the same. The resulting accident killed four people and caused a 28-car pileup.
If you’ve experienced a truck accident, you should consider contacting an 18 wheeler wreck lawyer. Otherwise, you will be fighting an uphill battle against the driver, the trucking company, and their insurance companies.
Help Yourself After a Truck Driver Accident
If you’ve been the victim of a truck driver accident due to one of the causes above, or due to another cause, you should contact an attorney right away. Truck accidents can cause severe damage and trucking companies will often try to avoid paying you for your injuries by blaming someone else for the accident.
If you found this article useful, be sure to check out some of our legal guides before you go.