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Common Causes of Trucking Accidents

Despite all of the safety regulations for commercial trucking, truck accidents still occur far too often. Truck accidents involving semi-trucks and tractor-trailers cause many fatalities and several times that number of serious injuries each year in the United States. Multiple factors can cause truck accidents, resulting in severe bodily injuries or death to truck drivers and others on the road. We will discuss some of the most common causes of truck accidents below.

Driver Error

Sadly, many truck accidents are entirely preventable and are caused by the truck driver’s negligence or another driver’s negligence. Many truck drivers are under extreme time constraints from their employers. They only get paid when they complete a job, making them tempted to violate federal and state laws by not taking mandatory rest breaks. As a result, fatigue is common among truck drivers. Extreme fatigue can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Fatigue can cause miscalculations in speed, failure to maintain control of the truck, and other misjudgments that can start a chain reaction that results in an accident.

Additionally, driver distraction is an increasingly common cause of semi-truck accidents. Drivers can be distracted by cell phones, text messaging, watching videos, GPS devices, or simply by staring out the window and not focusing on the road. Finally, driving aggressively or speeding to meet unrealistic trucking deadlines are other common driver errors that cause serious accidents.

Poorly Maintained Vehicles

Failing to maintain a semi-truck can have catastrophic consequences. Semi-trucks should be inspected and maintained regularly so that mechanics can become aware of and address any problematic issues. Failure to maintain truck tires, brakes, and other seemingly simple truck parts can cause devastating injuries. Truck drivers must perform their required pre-trip checks, and trucking companies need to employ maintenance personnel who can spot problems and fix them effectively, so they do not cause truck accidents.

Unbalanced Cargo Loads

Semi-truck drivers deal with no-touch freight frequently. No-touch freight means that employees at the loading and unloading facilities are responsible for properly loading the empty trailer. In these situations, employees will load pallets using forklifts onto the trailer without the involvement of the driver.

Nonetheless, it is also the truck driver’s responsibility to check their tractor loads before closing the truck’s doors. Unbalanced cargo loads are difficult to control when transitioning between lanes and on windy days. Trucks with poorly secured or balanced cargo may tip over and crush passenger vehicles on the side of the truck, causing fatalities.

Equipment Failure

It is also possible that third parties such as the manufacturers of parts for the semi-truck can be liable for truck accidents. For example, defective technology may cause the truck driver to lose control of their rig. The manufacturers of engine parts may be held liable if the defective part caused the truck accident that resulted in the victim’s injuries.

Malfunctioning Brakes

As with other drivers, semi-truckers rely on their brakes. They also use their brakes to a greater degree than passenger drivers. When brakes are faulty, do not work properly, or have not been installed correctly, preventable accidents can result. It is important to discuss your case with a lawyer as soon as possible so that they can begin the investigation process. If a defective part caused your accident, your lawyer would need to ensure the vehicle is available to be thoroughly inspected.

What to Do After a Truck Accident

If you are involved in a truck accident, it is crucial that you receive all of the medical treatment you need. Follow your doctor’s orders and follow directions regarding all treament. Doing so will help you recover and will help you prove that the truck accident caused your injuries. Do not admit fault to the insurance company or accept a settlement agreement without speaking to a lawyer. You only have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit from the date of your truck accident, so discussing your case with a lawyer right away is important.

Consult With an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Has your loved one been seriously injured in a truck accident? Are you concerned about how you will pay for your mounting medical bills while you have to take time off of work to recover? If so, we recommend scheduling a free initial consultation with Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Our experienced personal injury lawyers have successfully obtained millions of dollars in compensation for accident victims. We are prepared to fight hard for your right to recover compensation. Contact us today at 704.370.2828 to learn more about the legal services we offer.

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