Common Causes of Truck Accidents and How to Pursue Legal Action


Accidents involving large commercial trucks can be devastating and life-changing — to say the least. The sheer size and weight of a truck make it more prone to causing significant damage in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, these types of accidents are not as uncommon as one would hope, with thousands of them occurring each year across the United States.

Many factors can contribute to truck accidents: driver fatigue, vehicle maintenance issues, and distracted driving are among the most common. In this section, we will explore these and other causes in more detail, as well as how to pursue legal action if you have been involved in a truck accident.

Driver Fatigue

It’s no secret that driving long hours is a tiring and monotonous task, especially for those in the trucking industry. What many don’t realize is the dangerous consequences of driver fatigue. Exhaustion can impair a driver’s reaction time and decision-making ability, leading to potentially devastating accidents on the road.

Fatigue driving is a major cause of truck accidents, and it’s often the result of unrealistic schedules set by trucking companies or drivers pushing themselves to meet strict deadlines. For those who have been involved in a truck accident caused by driver fatigue, it’s crucial to seek the help of a lawyer who specializes in truck accidents to ensure their legal rights are protected. The trucking company and its insurers may try to downplay the driver’s fatigue as a contributing factor, but an experienced lawyer can gather evidence and hold them accountable for their negligence.

Distracted Driving

With the surge in technology and the need for immediate communication, drivers often find themselves taking their eyes off the road to send a quick text, make a phone call, or scroll through social media. Though these activities may seem harmless, they can have disastrous consequences when done behind the wheel, especially for truck drivers.

Distracted driving is not limited to just cell phone use. Eating, drinking, adjusting the radio or GPS, and even daydreaming can all distract a driver and increase their risk of causing an accident. Truck drivers have a responsibility to remain focused and alert at all times, and failure to do so can result in severe consequences.

Speeding

The faster you go, the less control you have over your vehicle. This means that you’re more likely to be involved in an accident, and those accidents are likely to be more severe. When you’re driving at a high speed, you have less time to react to obstacles in your path, and it takes you longer to stop.

Truck drivers, like all other drivers, have a duty to obey speed limits and drive at a safe and reasonable speed. Some trucking companies may incentivize their drivers to reach their destinations faster by offering bonuses or penalizing them for taking too long — leading to speeding and potential accidents. In these cases, seeking legal action against the company may be necessary to hold them accountable for their unsafe policies.

Poor Vehicle Maintenance

Commercial trucks are complex vehicles that require regular maintenance and inspections to ensure they are safe to operate on the road. Unfortunately, some trucking companies may cut corners and neglect necessary maintenance to save time and money.

Trucking companies must properly maintain their vehicles and ensure they are in good working condition. Negligence in this area can cause brake failures, tire blowouts, and other mechanical issues that may end up in serious accidents. The last thing you want is to be involved in a truck accident caused by faulty equipment, so you want to make sure the company adheres to industry standards and regulations.

Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is a serious problem that is responsible for many accidents on our roads. This dangerous practice involves driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or even prescription medications. Impairment can slow down reaction times, reduce coordination, and make it difficult to focus on the task at hand.

A truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and any mistake made due to impairment can have devastating consequences. All drivers need to understand the dangers of impaired driving and avoid getting behind the wheel if they are not completely sober and focused.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions such as rain, snow, fog, and ice can make driving hazardous even for experienced truck drivers. Large trucks require more skill to maneuver than your average vehicle so when weather conditions are less than ideal, the risk of accidents increases significantly.

Rain and snow can create slick roads, reducing traction and increasing the chances of a truck losing control. Fog can reduce visibility, making it harder for drivers to see other vehicles on the road. Truck drivers must take extra precautions when driving in poor weather conditions to prevent accidents from happening.

Yellow truck on the freeway. Photo by Jay Huang via unsplash

Truck accidents can have severe consequences, and it’s important to understand the common causes to prevent them from occurring in the first place. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, seeking legal action may be necessary to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you can pursue compensation for damages and ensure your rights are protected. Safety is everyone’s responsibility, so always practice safe driving habits and stay alert on the road.

Luxury

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