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Distracted Driving Emerges as Major Factor in Rising Truck Accident Rates

Causes of Truck Accidents

Due to their size and speed, truck accidents often result in serious injuries. The most common causes of truck accidents include fatigue, truck driver error, mechanical issues, and bad weather.

Often, truck drivers are under pressure from their employers to move cargo quickly. As a result, they may exceed the hours they are legally allowed to drive daily. Contact Duluth Truck Accident Lawyer for more details.

Mechanical Issues

Trucks have many moving parts, and they must work correctly for safety. When these vital components fail, the results can be catastrophic. According to a study, mechanical issues contribute to 55% of all truck accidents. These problems can occur because of improper maintenance, manufacturing defects or wear and tear. Brake failures, tire blowouts and engine malfunctions can all lead to serious truck accidents that threaten drivers and other motorists on the road.

A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. It takes a long distance for such a massive vehicle to come to a stop on the highway when the brakes are defective. A faulty brake can lead to rear-end truck accidents, rollovers and jackknife crashes. Tires have a heavy job to do, too. They carry the full weight of a huge truck and help keep it in control down the road. When a tire blows out, it can cause the truck to drift from side to side on the road and make it hard for the driver to steer properly.

Other mechanical problems can also cause a truck accident, such as transmission and engine complications. If a truck’s engine or transmission is not properly maintained, it can overheat and fail. Trucking companies should perform regular inspections and maintenance on their trucks to avoid these problems. Unfortunately, some trucking companies cut corners and ignore these inspections so that they can stay in business.

Poor cargo loading can also cause a truck accident. When loads are not properly secured, they can fall off on the highway at high speeds. A load that is too heavy can even tip the truck over. This is why trucking companies must ensure that their drivers have proper training to safely secure their loads.

Despite all the rules and regulations governing how much rest truckers must get and how many hours they are allowed to drive, some drivers still get behind the wheel when they are too tired to do so safely. Tired truckers can lose concentration, swerve out of their lane or make other mistakes on the road. These mistakes can result in deadly truck accidents for drivers and other motorists.

Poor Road Conditions

Because of their much larger size, trucks are more susceptible to serious injuries than passenger vehicles in the event of a collision. This is why it is so important that truck drivers obey traffic laws, stay within speed limits, and signal when changing lanes. In addition, trucking companies must adhere to strict safety regulations and not overload their trucks. When a truck driver or trucking company fails to follow these rules, it puts others at risk.

The nature of a road’s condition can also play a role in a truck accident. For example, potholes and uneven surfaces can cause a truck to lose control. In addition, if there are signs or other road markings that are missing or faded due to improper maintenance, this can lead to accidents.

Another common issue is a failure to check a truck’s blind spots before turning or switching lanes. Due to their massive sizes, commercial trucks have multiple areas around them that they cannot see without their mirrors or by checking the windows. If a trucker fails to do this, they could collide with another vehicle or even pedestrians.

In addition, poor weather conditions can make driving difficult or even impossible. Snow, rain, or construction zones can create hazardous situations on highways, interstates, and local roads. These types of conditions require extra time and caution for truck drivers to navigate.

Lastly, debris that is left on the road is a significant cause of truck accidents. Furniture, building materials, and cargo can fall off of a moving truck and hit other vehicles on the roadway. This can lead to devastating multi-vehicle collisions.

While truck drivers often bear partial responsibility for a crash, the trucking company may also be liable in some cases. For example, if the trucking company pressured its driver to ignore regulated hours or ignored a health issue like sleep apnea that caused them to be drowsy while driving, it can be held accountable in a personal injury lawsuit. The same goes for the trucking company that hires a driver who has illegal drugs or alcohol in their bloodstream, which can cause them to drive carelessly and crash.

Tire Blowouts

If you drive on the highway, chances are you’ve seen scattered tire pieces from a truck that lost one or more tires. While this may seem like a freak occurrence, tire blowouts are one of the most common causes of truck accidents. Truck drivers are responsible for regularly inspecting their trucks, including checking the air pressure and treads of their tires, and they must replace them when needed. When a tire blows out, it can cause the truck to lose control and crash into other vehicles on the road.

During a tire blowout, the sudden loss of force can also cause the cargo inside the truck to shift rapidly in a different direction, potentially creating a deadly rollover accident. A truck’s center of gravity is much higher than a passenger vehicle, and a rollover can cause massive damage to any cars or people in the way of the falling truck.

A truck driver’s negligence is often the cause of a tire blowout accident. They may not properly check the condition of their tires, or they might drive on tires that are at the end of their lifespan. This is in violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s rules, and it puts them at a greater risk of an accident.

Another reason a truck driver’s negligence might lead to a tire blowout is when they overload their trucks. Trucks are restricted to carrying a certain amount of cargo by the laws in each state, and if they are loaded above this limit, it can put too much stress on the tires and cause them to blow out.

Other causes of truck accidents include drowsiness, distraction, and intoxication. Drowsy or distracted truck drivers can lose control of their vehicles and veer into other traffic lanes, causing T-bone crashes with other vehicles on the road. Trucks driven by drowsy or intoxicated drivers can also speed or turn improperly, causing them to run intersections and slam into the sides of other vehicles.

Improper Loading

When trucks transport cargo, it is up to truckers and companies to properly load the freight. If this isn’t done, it puts everyone on the road in danger. If a load shifts, it can crash into smaller motor vehicles or pedestrians and cause severe injury or even death. If the cargo is combustible, it can also create fires or explosions.

Improper loading can be caused by either unsecure or improperly placed items in a truck bed, or by loading items that create a structural imbalance in the truck. When trucks are loaded this way, it can lead to them rolling over during sharp turns or becoming a fire hazard in hot weather. If the load is a hazardous material, it may explode if there is a problem with the seals or packing.

While the driver of a large truck is usually the primary suspect in any accident that occurs, many investigations reveal that other parties are to blame. For example, a trucking company that pushes drivers to meet demanding delivery quotas or ignores medical issues like sleep apnea may share liability for an accident.

In addition, inclement weather and defective roadway conditions may also cause accidents. If a truck driver is not prepared to drive on wet or snowy roads, for instance, they may swerve into opposing lanes of traffic and collide with vehicles or pedestrians.

Because of the size and shape of their trailers, commercial trucks have multiple areas that are known as blind spots. If a truck driver fails to check their blind spot before changing lanes or turning, they can strike other vehicles or pedestrians on the side of the road.