Causes of Truck Accidents
Serving the Injured Across the United States with Offices in Texas & Louisiana
One of the most crucial questions that must be answered in the aftermath of a truck accident is what caused the collision. Unlike other types of motor vehicle accidents, it can be less clear as to what led up to a truck collision. In many cases, several factors may be to blame. The responsible party or parties involved in an accident can only be held liable if the causes of a trucking collision are properly identified and connected with the offending party or the extenuating circumstances that led to them. Retaining a personal injury lawyer who can investigate your case and identify the causes that led to it will be crucial in your case. When you turn to our team at Arnold & Itkin, you can have confidence that your case will be in the hands of a legal professional who understands the regulations and precedents that affect commercial truck accidents.
Why Do Truck Accidents Occur?
The large size and weight of commercial trucks can make catastrophic results more likely should an accident occur. However, this is not the only factor to consider when examining the damaging effects of these types of accidents. More likely than not, a dangerous combination of circumstances led to the truck accident you were involved in; it is up to your attorney to assess the situation and determine what those circumstances were. Looking at the statistics of truck accidents and the number of serious injuries and fatalities they have caused is troubling. However, finding out the factors that lead to truck accidents is much easier said than done. There are many different causes to consider. One example is driver negligence, which might take the form of fatigued driving, distracted driving, failure to note blind spot deficiencies, and so on.
But human error is only one of a long list of factors that may have been involved. Other possible causes include:
- Adverse weather conditions
- An overloaded trailer
- Inadequate maintenance of vehicle products
- Defective equipment
- A company's failure to fire drivers with habitual drug and alcohol abuse problems
Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents
The FMCSA conducted a study into the most common causes of truck accidents.
The most common causes listed in the report were:
- Driver fatigue
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Drug or alcohol use
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Defective truck equipment
- Inexperienced and inadequately trained drivers
- Unsafe lane changing
- Failure to maintain proper distance
FMCSA's Study on Truck Accident Causes
The FMCSA study also broke down the common causes of truck accidents by percentage.
- 13% of the accidents were caused at least in part by driver fatigue.
- Nearly a quarter of all accidents involved a speeding truck.
- Prescription and over-the-counter drugs were involved in 18% of the accidents.
- While distracted driving was only found to cause 8% of the accidents at the time of the FMCSA study, that number has been growing in recent years as smartphones and other technology gadgets provide unneeded distractions inside the cab of the truck.
- Negligent driving, such as failing to maintain a proper distance between other cars, was responsible for 7% of truck accidents.
- Over a quarter of the truck drivers involved in an accident were found to have traces of drugs or alcohol in their system.
Truck Accident Causes: Common Questions
How can you determine what caused my truck accident?
When we investigate a truck accident, we spare no effort in finding its cause. We work with investigators and accident reconstruction specialists as well as experts in numerous applicable fields to identify all contributing factors. We look at driving logs and compare these to maintenance and loading logs, truck driver receipts, witness accounts, physical evidence, and all documentation of the time leading up to the collision. This will paint a clear picture of the condition of the truck and its cargo, the driver, the roads, and more. Then we can determine what caused the collision and who is responsible.
Are most truck accidents caused by truck drivers?
Most traffic accidents are caused by driving behavior like drunk driving, recklessness, or speeding, but this does not necessarily mean that all truck accidents are caused by truck drivers. Many truck operators are experienced, careful, and excellent drivers. However, their abilities can be compromised if they are pressured by their employers to drive long hours in violation of hours-of-service regulations. They can also have trouble maneuvering their vehicles if they are improperly loaded, or they may lose control if a truck is not maintained and inspected properly.
Getting to the bottom of a truck accident will shed light on what caused it to occur, whether this was negligence on the part of a truck driver or another reason.
What can I do after an accident?
There are so many causes that it is nearly impossible to fully prevent them. However, this is not to say that action cannot be taken to help improve safety in the truck industry. For example, while adverse weather conditions cannot be controlled, drivers can be advised not to drive in dangerous conditions. While drunk drivers on the road cannot be avoided, truckers can be held to standards that prevent them from drinking on the job. While there is always a possibility for product malfunction, trucking laws can ensure that adequate testing and maintenance curb the problem.
Our Houston Truck Accident Attorneys Are Ready to Help
Pursuing your truck accident case in court may seem daunting—but don’t worry! You are not alone. With the help of an attorney at Arnold & Itkin, you can feel the weight of this burden lifted off of your shoulders. Our team understands the complex nature of truck accidents. We know how these matters should be addressed when brought to court. Even out-of-court settlements can benefit from our services, as we know the investigative procedures and legal steps that need to take place in order to produce a successful outcome to your case.
Although many causes exist when it comes to truck accidents, it is not impossible to take legal action. Our law firm is here to help. Call Arnold & Itkin today at (888) 493-1629.