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Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are very serious, as they often result in severe injuries and sometimes even death. According to the National Safety Council, 5,700 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents in 2021. While there are a multitude of reasons why these truck accidents occur, this article will discuss a few of the most common causes.

Speeding

Speeding is a prominent issue amongst truck drivers that often results in severe truck accidents. Given their size and weight, trucks usually have a lower speed limit than cars and motorcycles, however, not all truck drivers obey this law. Speeding is particularly dangerous for truck drivers as it takes much longer for trucks to slow down, and there is less reaction time while speeding.

Improper Cargo Loading

Another common cause of truck accidents occurs when cargo is improperly loaded onto a truck. For example, the cargo’s weight may be distributed unevenly or a truck may be overloaded with too much cargo. This can result in either cargo falling off of the truck mid drive or a truck rollover, both of which pose a huge threat to all other drivers on the road.

Substance Use

Driving while under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and drugs is illegal for all types of drivers. For commercial truck drivers, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is more stringent than that of a car driver. A BAC level of 0.04% or higher as a commercial truck driver subjects you to receiving a DUI, whereas a BAC of 0.08% is the level for all other drivers. Driving while intoxicated is incredibly dangerous, as it affects your motor skills, as well as your ability to see and think clearly.

Unsafe Weather Conditions

No matter what type of vehicle you drive, weather is always a variable that one must be wary of. Driving through snow, rain, or fog poses various hazards to drivers on the road. When driving in icy or wet road conditions, trucks may experience slippery roads that make it difficult to maintain tire traction. Additionally, driving through fog will result in reduced visibility, making it a challenge to see what lies ahead of you.

Mechanical Failure

Sometimes, a truck accident is not necessarily the truck driver’s fault, but is caused by faulty equipment. For example, if a truck’s brakes are not responsive or the tires are not fully inflated, this will result in driving difficulties and likely a truck accident. To help avoid this issue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires truck drivers to conduct inspections prior to embarking on a trip.

Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue is a significant issue for truck drivers as they are oftentimes driving for hours on end to get the cargo they are carrying to the next destination. Federal hours-of-service regulations have been imposed by the FMCSA to limit the number of hours truck drivers are allowed to drive each day. While these regulations restrict drivers from driving no more than 11 hours each day, driver fatigue still remains a pertinent issue. Oftentimes, truck drivers are driving on the same road for several hours, making it easy for them to zone out.

What To Do After a Truck Accident

Following a truck accident, the first thing you want to do is seek professional medical assistance in the event any individuals were injured. If you are able to, you want to document everything you can at the scene, from contact information of those involved to photographic evidence, the more detailed information you have, the better. From there, you want to contact a Van Nuys truck accident attorney who has experience working with intricate truck accidents. They will be able to help you file a claim and set you on the right path towards securing the compensation you may be entitled to.

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