According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), the multi-billion trucking industry saw a 20% increase in trucking accidents over the last two decades. Because big rigs are twenty times the size and weight of other motor vehicles, they inflict much greater injury and damage in an accident than perhaps one-on-one car accidents.
Five most common causes of truck accidents
FMSCA investigations into truck accidents reveal five of the most common causes of negligence.
- According to the FMSCA, driver error is ten times more likely to be the cause of a truck accident than any other factor. Causes of driver error include driver fatigue, inattention, substance abuse, and distractions. Each of these factors affects the driver’s capacity to react to dangers appropriately on the roadway.
- Failure of truck equipment is the second most common cause of truck accidents. Equipment failures include such factors as design and manufacturing errors (ex., defective tires, lack of reverse-detection warning devices), and mechanical issues (ex., improperly maintained brakes or tires) which can lead to trucking accidents.
- Weather conditions play a significant role in the safe driving of big trucks. In bad weather conditions, braking distance of heavy trucks and their loads are increased. Unfortunately, even though it is a well-known fact that big trucks cannot not be stopped or maneuvered as easily as cars, some commercial truck drivers ignore their vehicles’ limitations in bad weather conditions, leading to truck accidents.
- Improperly loaded trucks, loads that are incorrectly configured and/or distributed on the trailer, can cause the truck to malfunction on the road. The most common is the imbalanced load that can cause a truck to topple over. Other improperly loaded trucks are those with poorly secured loads which can cause the trailer contents to spill out onto the roadway.
- The lack of proper care in selection of truck drivers or trucking companies is another common cause of trucking accidents. The fault begins with a businessperson needing a shipper and then selects a trucking company without checking it out. Many trucking companies do not vet their drivers sufficiently or are otherwise lacking in FMSCA compliance.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident involving the negligence of a big rig, please give me a call. I have a great deal of experience handling all aspects of trucking accidents and would be happy to help you.
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