Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents in the US
Have you or a loved one been injured in a semi-truck accident?
While semi-trucks cover more miles on American roads than the average passenger vehicles, they cause fewer accidents mainly because they are slower, and truckers go through more intense training than the regular driver. Truckers are also under more stringent safety guidelines than the average driver.
However, this doesn’t mean truckers are immune to accidents. In fact, semi-trucks cause more serious accidents (resulting in serious injuries and deaths) than regular passenger vehicles.
What causes semi-truck accidents?
Semi-truck crashes are caused by the same reasons responsible for other vehicle accidents. However, there are reasons that are more common than others. After handling hundreds of claims involving semi-trucks in the US, we’ve compiled a list of most common reasons for semi-truck accidents below:
1. Driver Error
A significant portion of all semi-truck crashes are caused by driver errors like over speeding, driver confusion, and negligence (a driver who doesn’t check for blind spots before embarking on a journey).
2. Driver Fatigue
Truck drivers working for long hours are also to blame. While the law limits the number of hours a trucker should drive continuously, many drivers defy this law and continue driving when they should be resting. The long journeys without breaks (coupled with monotony) affect a driver’s focus resulting in crashes.
While commercial drivers face stiffer DUI penalties for obvious reasons, there are some who still drive while intoxicated beyond legal limits. When they do, most cause serious accidents.
4. Inadequate semi-truck maintenance
Trucking companies/owners are also to blame. While trucks must be maintained accordingly by law to ensure they are in good condition, some trucking companies/owners don’t adhere to these guidelines for many reasons i.e., to boost profits, save time, etc. Poorly maintained semi-trucks have a higher chance of getting into accidents.
5. Inadequate training
Since truck drivers are highly sought after, some trucking companies are tempted to give their drivers basic training only, which isn’t enough. When such drivers face unique circumstances that demand advanced skills, accidents are unavoidable.
6. Driver distractions
Truck drivers are supposed to focus on the road 100%. Unfortunately, some get distracted by modern technology like cell phones, GPS, and tablets. Other sources of distractions include, but aren’t limited to eating while driving and conversing with other passengers. While trucking companies have rules that drivers must follow when driving, the above distractions are a common cause of semi-truck accidents.
7. Poor cargo loading
Failing to secure cargo properly is also a huge problem. Semi-trucks transport heavy/bulky products that must be packed and secured properly. The weight also needs to be evenly distributed. Poorly packed/secured loads can fly off a truck, cause imbalances and/or compromise steering, and braking.
Some loads are more dangerous than others. For instance, low-filled liquid cargo i.e., oil, gas, or other liquids transported in bulk by road, must meet a certain threshold before being transported. Tankers should be at least 75% full to prevent gas from swaying back and forth during turns and when braking/accelerating – occurrences that can make a truck driver lose control.
8. Wide turning
Semi-trucks must make wide turns because of their length, weight, size, and short turning radius. This makes it harder for drivers to stay on their lanes when turning. While seasoned truckers have perfected turning, they occasionally make errors on busy roads. Some of these errors result in crashes.
9. Rear-end crashes
Semi-trucks are responsible for more rear-end crashes on US roads than typical vehicles. The crashes are caused when truck drivers fail to brake in time. Rear-end crashes result in serious injuries and fatalities in some instances due to the significant force involved. While all vehicle occupants risk injury/death, the casualties are usually passengers seated in the backseat (mostly children).
Should I call a semi-truck accident attorney if I/a loved one is involved in a semi-truck accident?
YES! Semi-truck accidents usually result in injuries or fatalities. If the trucking company, truck driver or the truck is to blame (directly or indirectly) for your injuries/those of a loved one, you have grounds for making a personal injury claim. You need a professional (personal injury lawyer) to help you make such a claim successfully.
Call Oberheiden Law NOW if you/a family member or friend is a victim of a semi-truck accident. Oberheiden law has helped victims who have been injured, and families whose loved ones have been killed in semi-truck accidents get fair compensation.
We won’t charge anything unless we win the case! Get a ZERO-fee, no-obligation consultation from any of our seasoned personal injury attorneys now.
Are any of the above causes of semi-truck accidents to blame? Let’s find out!