It probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that commercial trucks are more likely to cause devastating injuries when they collide with smaller vehicles, because they are bigger, longer and heavier, which means they pack a much bigger punch on impact. But what may be surprising is that the number of fatal truck accidents has been trending up since 2014. Truck safety experts believe that this is due to many factors, including a healthy economy that has created more consumer spending on goods that must be shipped throughout the country. More shipping opportunities means more trucks on the road, and more trucks on the road usually means more accidents.
7 Top Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
When commercial trucks are involved in at-fault accidents, it is usually caused by one of the following seven factors, including:
- Speeding – Commercial trucks that consistently exceed posted speed limits are like a bomb that is just waiting to detonate. And that detonation often occurs when those speeding trucks hit smaller cars and motorcycles, causing devastating injuries or even death. The distance it takes for a commercial truck to come to a complete stop is many times more than that of a car. And truck drivers who speed are also more likely to lose control of their vehicles.
- Fatigue – Every commercial truck driver has experienced some form of fatigue while driving. The danger is that drivers who don’t stop to rest when they know they are very tired are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel, or to lose concentration while driving, both of which can lead to a destructive crash.
- Distracted Driving – Commercial drivers who text, talk on a mobile phone, chat on a radio, eat, or use a GPS device are guilty of distracted driving, because these activities take their hands off the wheel, or their eyes off the road.
- Cargo Not Properly Loaded – Commercial trucks that carry improperly loaded cargo are imbalanced, which means that any wrong move on the part of a driver could loosen the cargo, or shift the truck into the path of other vehicles.
- Tire Failure – Commercial trucks carry heavy loads, which means there is a lot of stress on the tires. If those tires have faulty treads, or are old and worn down, there is a much higher chance that they will fail at a critical time, which can cause an accident. That’s why the government requires truck carriers to perform routine maintenance and equipment checks.
- Failure To Check Blind Spots – There are larger blind spots in a commercial truck because these vehicles are so large. A blind spot refers to an area to either side of a car or truck where the side mirrors do not show a vehicle in adjacent lanes. Truck drivers who don’t perform a shoulder check prior to changing lanes, can hit a vehicle in the blind spot.
- Driver Inexperience – There has been a severe shortfall in the number of qualified commercial truck drivers over the last decade. That has led truck carriers to hire a lot of younger, inexperienced drivers who don’t know how to handle the various situations that can occur on the open road. As a result, unseasoned drivers are more likely to make mistakes that cause accidents.
Let An Experienced Lawyer Do the Fighting On Your Behalf
When a commercial truck driver hits your vehicle and causes you injury, you are going to be in a fight with that person’s insurance company to get the compensation you deserve. Kinnaird & Kinnaird P.C. has spent 30 years learning all the tricks and deceptions of insurance companies. Put your trust in our experience, and give us a call today to hear how we can help you.