The 7 Most-Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents

| October 19, 2017 | Comments (0)

Truck Accident Common Causes

18-wheeler trucks are particularly dangerous when they collide with passenger vehicles, and in recent years, there has been more effort on the part of government organizations and trucking companies to reduce the number of serious accidents on the road.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently revised hours-of-service laws in an effort to better-enforce safe truck driving, and some trucking companies are revising their own corporate safety protocols in order to reduce accidents and lower insurance premiums.

Over 15,000,000 trucks share our roads every year, and over 100,000 people are injured in truck accidents annually. Why do commercial trucks cause so many accidents? The most-common causes tend to be related to driver error and unsafe business practices by transportation companies.

  1. Speeding — When a trucker speeds in order to meet a deadline, he/she is putting the lives of everyone else on that road at risk. It is very hard to stop and/or maneuver an 80,000 lb truck, especially when speeding.
  2. Overweight trucks — When a trucker is carrying an unusually heavy load, stopping or even slowing down becomes even more difficult. Furthermore, if the load is not properly balanced (e.g., front heavy), cargo can shift around during turns or stops and result in loss of control, jackknifing, or a rollover accident.
  3. Lack of maintenance — Maintaining heavy trucks is a necessity if one hopes to avoid accidental destruction or mechanical failure. If a truck is not properly maintained, then even the safest trucker in the world is at a much greater risk of causing an accident. All it takes for one horrific accident to happen is for the tire to blow, brakes to go out, the suspension system to fail, etc.
  4. Lack of sleep — Truckers are only human and when they are overworked or sleep-deprived, they are going to make mistakes. It’s important to realize that most experienced truckers are paid by the mile/job and often push themselves to the limit of exhaustion in order to earn a better paycheck. Many trucking companies will push their drivers to continue working in violation of federal law resulting in drivers falling asleep on the job—very dangerous in this type of work!
  5. Highway Hypnosis — This condition refers to a sort of “trance-like state” that occurs after a driver goes thousands of miles watching the same monotonous road scenery. Eventually they can zone out and fail to register minor visual details that defensive drivers must catch in order to avoid a collision.
  6. Blind Spots — One of the first thing new drivers learn when taking a driving test is to avoid the trucker’s blind spots. Most mirror systems on trucks do not allow the trucker a full view of the area behind them (which is clearly inherently unsafe), and loud engine noise also tends to drown out honks. This makes sideswipe accidents pretty common, but the truck driver is still ultimately responsible for any unsafe lane changes they make.
  7. Carelessness/Recklessness — Last but not least, some truckers just have a negligent attitude and think that every other motorist should yield to them because of their massive size. This type of arrogance can lead to deadly crashes.

Accidents involving 18-wheelers are very serious. Not only because people’s lives are involved, but also because liability can be a complex concept to understand and apply to all situations—legally speaking. This is why it’s important that you talk to an experienced truck accident attorney.

An attorney can review your case and help you understand the options available to you. Do not try to negotiate with the company on your own. Trucking companies are ruthless when it comes to using deceptive tactics to harm the potential value of your case. They will try and minimize your claims and distort the facts, or may simply decline to accept any liability. Do not bargain or accept their terms; you were the victim here, and you deserve justice.

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