The Top 4 Causes of Truck Accidents and How to Protect Yourself

Five common causes of truck accidents – A rollover collision constitutes one of the most horrific and terrifying crashes imaginable. The centre of gravity of tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks is significantly higher than that of regular passenger cars. Truck drivers must be cautious when going around tight corners or making unexpected swerves as the level and timelines within which the accidents happen are so narrow.

If drivers take curves too sharply or drive too fast, Under certain circumstances, the truck may flip and roll the entire vehicle over onto one side, posing a dangerous and deadly threat to everyone on the road. These hazardous circumstances are brought about by improper cargo loading on large and semi-truck trucks. Most truck accidents will therefore be avoided if excellent care is taken when driving.

In other circumstances, truck rollovers result from careless or irresponsible drivers, such as speeding, distracted or fatigued driving, or intoxicated driving. In some situations, a truck rollover accident can happen even when the truck drivers are on the road.

For instance, a trailer loaded incorrectly or excessively by a cargo crew may sway as it travels through a turn. Tire blowouts, which can occur due to poor tire maintenance, design, or production flaws, are common causes of rollover accidents.

The vast size and weight disparity between a large industrial truck and a typical car makes it possible for passenger vehicles to be crushed during an impact in rear-end truck accidents. Truck drivers require far more time and space to slow downward, avoid dangers on the highway, or come to a safe standstill behind other cars when operating tractor-trailers because they are heavy and difficult to manage.

Devastating rear-end collisions with other vehicles can occur when truck drivers are inattentive, speeding, or tailgating. Impaired driving and driver weariness are other significant causes of rear-end accidents. Inexperienced or hurried truck drivers who disregard the FMCSA’s recommended following distances endanger other drivers by failing to give themselves enough room to slow down or stop.

Drivers can drift out of their lane and directly into the path of oncoming traffic when they are careless, reckless, or lose control of their cars. Head-on crashes may also happen at red lights, stop signs, or other junctions when drivers fail to observe the proper right-of-way.

For various reasons, a truck may collide head-on with another vehicle. The truck driver may be exhausted from working long hours to satisfy strict quotas and progressively drift into opposing lanes. Additionally, drivers may be impaired by alcohol or illicit drugs while on the road. They might encounter a mental breakdown from severe OTC stimulant use and veer toward approaching traffic by accident. The probability of a head-on collision rises due to tire blowouts, which frequently result in rollover accidents and can also make drivers lose command and swerve into other lanes without warning.

There are common causes for the numerous truck accidents she has witnessed while travelling. White combined his encounters with analytical studies from various governmental organizations and insurance companies to determine the top five reasons for truck accidents.

The five common causes of truck accidents are as follows:

  • Driver mistake;
  • Lack of proper driver education;
  • Drinking while under the influence of drugs;
  • Defects in truck equipment/parts; and
  • Dangerous business priorities

sleeping drunk truck driver


Four Common Causes of Truck Accidents: Driver Mistakes

Of all the causes of trucking accidents, driver mistake is ten times more probable to be the cause of a crash than any other component, according to a recent study undertaken by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Significant factors contributing to truck accidents include weariness, alcohol use while driving, speeding, and distracted driving, just like with drivers of other motor vehicles. The extensive rig study also identified the use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, failure to quit when necessary, and other vital factors. The survey identified four crucial factors as being responsible for over fifty percent of the 151,000 truck accidents:

  • Under-performance: The driver dozed off, suffered a heart attack or a seizure, or had another physical impairment.
  •  Recognizing—The driver was careless, preoccupied with something inside or outside the car, or unable to assess the situation appropriately.
  • Action: The driver followed other vehicles too closely, drove too quickly for the road conditions, or misjudged the speed of other cars.
  • Performance—The driver exhibited poor directional control, overcompensation, or fear.

1. Lack of Proper Driver Education

More focus should be put on driver training since driver mistake is the leading cause of truck accidents. In addition to the rising number of truck accidents, several significant issues highlight the need for improved driver education. According to the US Department of Transportation, trucks will transport 40% more freight over the next 30 years than they do now. Trucking companies will face additional pressure to hire younger, less seasoned drivers due to the increased volume and the current driver shortage.

The FMCSA is currently reviewing the minimal training requirements, including the amount of time spent in the learning environment and on the road, the recognition as accredited versus approval of commercial driver’s license education courses and schools, the curricula for passenger, property, and dangerous goods carriers, instructor qualifications, and other factors.

Without proper driving education, the drivers cannot control the trucks under dangerous driving conditions, such as poor vehicle maintenance, poor weather conditions, poor road maintenance, and poor cargo loading, and when the conditions are so extreme, it becomes difficult to steer the truck. With this in mind, commercially licensed drivers must have proper and complete training before driving delivery trucks or company vehicles.

It should be noted that crashes involving large trucks are brought about by driver error. This driver error is made more prominent when there are poor weather conditions. Poor weather conditions make driving the trucks difficult for anyone, especially those with improper driving.

2. Defects in Truck Equipment/Parts

A truck’s performance determines how good a driver is. A catastrophic disaster could occur as a result of a mechanical failure. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Fatal Causation Study, the truck experienced at least one technical loss in 55 percent of truck incidents involving injuries. The same study found that 30% of trucks had at least one issue with out-of-service equipment. According to this survey, standard equipment failure categories include:

  • malfunctioning or missing safety features like under-ride rails;
  • Improperly functioning or malfunctioning lighting, especially turn signals;
  • Tires that are underinflated or worn out;
  • Faulty or poorly maintained brakes;
  • Unbalanced payload;
  • transmission issues; and
  • Manufacturing flaws in the parts

The FMSCA mandates every truck driver and company to conduct a pre-trip examination, routine inspections, and maintenance of their trucks throughout the year because equipment failure causes accidents. Large trucks should be correctly serviced and maintained to avoid many truck accidents.

The accidents resulting from defects in truck parts are so drastic as they result in spinal cord injuries, severe injuries, and other serious injuries. These injuries have the impact of totally incapacitating their victims. With this in mind, it is paramount to ensure that you engage the services of an experienced truck accident attorney to stand a chance at being compensated.

3. Business Priorities

A company’s dedication to fulfilling customer delivery dates results in ill-conceived timetables, poor loading, driver fatigue, and stress. The chance of an accident increases as a result. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that medical care, legal fees, property damage, and lost productivity associated with auto accidents cost employers $60 billion annually. The median accident costs an organization $16,800. Whenever an employee has a workplace accident that ends in harm, the expense to the company is $75,000. Costs can surpass $500,000 if a fatal accident is involved. The tragedy is that such accidents can be mostly prevented through an organization prioritizing motorist security.

Trucking companies must therefore get their priorities right so that large truck crashes are avoided. Moreover, a truck company must ensure drivers are not too tired. These will be achieved if there is proper rest and a sufficient number of employees covering up for their counterparts when they cannot drive.

4. Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

To guarantee that drivers not only follow the law but are also not operating a vehicle while under the influence of any substance that could endanger their safety and the safety of others, EMC advises conducting a substance misuse test at the time of recruitment and continuing to conduct regular tests during their employment. Certain medicines affect a person’s ability to drive differently based on how they interact with the brain. For instance, marijuana might affect coordination, slow reaction times, and make it harder to judge distance and time. Methamphetamine or cocaine use can make drivers angry and careless on the road. Certain prescription drugs, such as benzodiazepines and opioids, might make you feel drowsy and lightheaded and impair your ability to think and make decisions. Automobile accidents may result from any of these effects.

The use of marijuana while driving has been demonstrated to have harmful effects, such as an increase in lane swerving, sluggish reaction times, and a change in attention to the road. Using marijuana and alcohol together impairs drivers more, which leads to increased lane swerving. According to research, opioids might tire people and impair thinking and judgment. According to other studies, driving while impaired by opioids doubles the likelihood of an accident.

Because people frequently combine other medications, including alcohol, assessing how certain drugs impair driving is challenging. However, some medicines can have demonstrable effects, even in small doses. As a result, some states have zero-tolerance policies regarding drug use while driving. This situation means that if there is even a trace of a drug in the blood or urine, driving under the influence charges may be brought against the offender. Until science can more accurately identify blood levels that indicate impairment, like those they employ, several states are delaying the development of regulations.

State and federal regulations also ban driving trucks when the blood alcohol concentration is so high that the driver’s judgement is severely hindered. With alcohol in the truck driver’s system, it is doubtful that they can control the vehicles leading to fatal crashes, internal injuries, neck injuries, and, most severe injuries that may result in the need for urgent medical attention and substantial medical costs.

How Many Individuals Drive While Doing Drugs?

In 2022, 14.5 million people aged 16 or older drove while intoxicated, and 11.7 million did so while under the influence of some illicit drugs, including marijuana (2021 DT 8.33A), according to the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Men are more likely than women to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the survey also revealed. The percentage of adults between the ages of 21 and 25 who go after using drugs or alcohol is higher than that of young adults between the ages of 16 and 20 (7.5%) or adults 26 and older. It follows from this that a trucking company.

Which Substances Are Connected to Driving While Impaired?

The drug that is most frequently detected in the blood of drivers involved in accidents, after alcohol, is marijuana. The brain-altering component of marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is measured in the blood as part of tests to identify marijuana use in drivers. However, it’s not always apparent what part marijuana plays in collisions. THC and alcohol are frequently mixed, and THC can be found in body fluids for days or weeks after usage. When marijuana is combined with alcohol, cocaine, or benzodiazepines, the car accident risk is higher than when used alone.1,8

According to several studies, drivers who had THC in their blood were nearly twice as likely to be killed in a crash or be at fault for one than those who hadn’t taken drugs or alcohol. After accounting for the age, gender, race, and alcohol consumption of drivers, a significant increase in crash risk attributable to marijuana was not identified, according to comprehensive NHTSA research. More study is required.

Prescription medicines are frequently associated with drugged driving accidents, along with marijuana. 20.8% of those who operated a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol tested positive for an opioid.

Create an Accident Prevention Program

OSHA suggests the following 9-step approach to enhance traffic safety performance and reduce the likelihood of automobile accidents. All of the drivers in your company should adhere to these rules.

  1. Employee Engagement and Senior Management Commitment—A safety culture can be developed by senior management through leadership, policy setting, and resource allocation. Actively promoting employee involvement and participation at all organizational levels is an excellent practice that can support your fleet safety efforts.
  2. Documented Policies and Procedures —All employees should know clear, detailed, enforceable road safety policies. Provide rewards for following the rules and emphasize the adverse effects of doing otherwise.
  3. Agreements by Drivers—By executing a contract, the driver admits knowledge and comprehension of the company’s traffic protection policies, processes, and obligations concerning driver efficiency, vehicle upkeep, and notification of moving violations.
  4. Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Checks—The MVR must be verified routinely to verify that the driver retains a good driving reputation. Identify the number of infractions an employee/driver may commit before terminating their right to drive and provide training as needed.
  5. Crash Reporting and Investigation—Regardless of the severity, all crashes should be reported to the employee’s supervisor as quickly as possible. The foundation for reducing future impacts is understanding their underlying causes and why they occur, regardless of fault.
  6. Vehicle Selection, Maintenance, and Inspection—Choosing, correctly maintaining, and regularly checking company cars are crucial to reducing accidents and the ensuing costs. Routine preventative maintenance for servicing and inspecting safety-related equipment should be performed on vehicles.
  7. Disciplinary Action System—The system should include progressive discipline if a driver begins to develop a pattern of repeated traffic violations and preventable crashes. Specify what actions will be taken if a motorist incurs a predetermined number of infractions or accidents that could have been avoided.
  8. Driver Communication and Training – Even seasoned drivers can benefit from periodic training and reviews of safe driving techniques.
  9. Regulatory Compliance—It is necessary to clearly define whether if any, local, county, and congressional regulations control your vehicles and drivers.

Call Big Ben Lawyers Right Away

It follows from the above that there is a great and urgent necessity to involve personal injury attorneys as soon as one is involved in a truck accident. The personal injury attorneys shall help you determine the most appropriate case approaches. After figuring out the best practices, the lawyers shall help you navigate the often tedious process of filing and prosecuting a truck.

Our personal injury Lawyers are aware of the fear and concern that a truck accident can cause you and your loved ones. Our personal injury attorneys shall provide the support you need to proceed with the personal injury claim with the confidence necessary for success. To help you establish responsibility for your losses and look into every possible source of compensation for your truck accident case, we will carefully and professionally examine how the accident occurred. Big Ben Lawyers shall do everything possible to ensure you are compensated following a truck accident.

The earlier you engage our legal services following a truck accident, the better your compensation prospects under California’s law. Should you be prepared to discuss the legal options available, please contact our experienced truck accident lawyers so we can arrange your free legal consultation and provide you with the best representation in California.

Put your faith in Big Ben Lawyers to stand your rights in court and during negotiations with the involved insurance companies so that you can attain the highest possible compensation. To discuss your available and appropriate options, contact Big Ben Lawyers for a free legal consultation and case evaluation. Please get in touch with us now so that we can discuss your truck accident lawsuit.

Is There Any Truck Accident Attorney Near Me?

Big Ben Lawyers are near you and available to help you recover compensation in any truck accident lawsuit you may want to pursue in California. We shall also give you a free case evaluation.

Big Ben Lawyers’ injury lawyers know and appreciate how stressful the aftermath of a truck accident is. With this in mind, Big Ben Lawyers must assist our clients in getting through this challenging event by aiding them with the complicated legal process and giving them the best chance of receiving the highest compensation they deserve.

Do not delay if you or a loved one is a victim of a truck accident case. Contact Big Ben Lawyers immediately for a free case examination, or phone us at the numbers listed on our website.

Do not hesitate to contact Big Ben Lawyers, and we shall pursue your truck accident case with passion and your best interest at heart.

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