The Common Causes of Truck Accidents:
What You Need to Know

Dressie Law Firm can help you navigate the legal aftermath of a truck accident in Atlanta, Georgia. Call us to learn more about our services.

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Overview of the Frequency of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are a growing problem in the United States. These accidents involve large trucks such as semi-trucks and tractor-trailers that often cause serious injuries to other drivers and passengers. In 2021, there were 523,796 commercial truck accidents in the country. Check out what percentage of accidents are caused by semi-trucks.

It is essential to understand the causes of truck accidents to avoid them. The common causes of truck accidents are driver fatigue, distracted driving, and speeding. There’s also mechanical failure and poor weather conditions. These causes can often be attributed to the negligence of the truck driver or the trucking company.

Truck accidents can result in severe truck accident injuries, such as brain damage, spinal cord injury, broken bones, internal bleeding, and death. These injuries can have a lasting impact on the victims and their families physically, mentally, and financially.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident recently, it’s crucial to determine the cause of the accident to establish fault and liability. Talk to our Atlanta truck accident attorney for legal guidance and assistance. Our experienced attorneys at Dressie Law Firm have a wealth of experience representing victims of truck accidents and can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Read on to learn more about the common causes of truck accidents and what you can do to avoid them.

    The Common Causes of Truck Accidents

    Driver Fatigue

    Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of truck accidents in the United States. Driver fatigue is physical and mental exhaustion common in commercial truck drivers who spend long hours behind the wheel.

    Fatigue impairs the driver’s judgment, reaction time, alertness, and concentration. This increases the risk of crashes involving large trucks.

    The federal government has established hours-of-service regulations to ensure the safety of commercial truck drivers and other road users. These regulations limit commercial truck drivers’ time to drive and work without taking breaks or resting periods. Here are some of the rules that apply to property-carrying drivers:

    • They can drive for 11 hours, following a rest of 10 consecutive hours.

    • They cannot drive more than 14 hours after they start working following a rest of 10 consecutive hours.

    • They have to take a break for 30 minutes after an 8-hour shift.

    • They cannot drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 days in a row. They can reset their shift after a 34-hour rest or more.

    These regulations help reduce fatigued driving and promote road safety. However, some trucking companies and drivers may violate these rules or falsify their records. This can lead to many truck accidents that cause severe injuries and fatalities to passenger car drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

    Distracted Driving

    Distracted driving is doing anything that takes your attention away from the road while driving.

    This can include:

    • Texting

    • Making phone calls

    • Eating

    • Drinking

    • Adjusting the radio

    • Looking at a map

    Distracted driving can be dangerous for commercial truck drivers operating large, heavy vehicles like a semi-truck. Rollovers are a typical result of distracted driving as well as head-on collisions.

    Poor Vehicle Maintenance

    Regular vehicle maintenance is crucial for road safety and accident prevention. Neglecting it can lead to various dangers. Neglecting maintenance increases the risk of accidents due to brake failures, engine issues, or tire blowouts. These can cause serious accidents that injure or kill other drivers on the road.

    Speeding

    Commercial truck drivers may be tempted to speed to meet tight delivery deadlines and increase their pay. However, speeding is one of the leading causes of large truck accidents. Speeding reduces reaction time, making it more difficult for truckers to stop in time when faced with unexpected obstacles or traffic conditions. It also increases the force of impact during a collision, leading to more severe injuries and fatalities.

    Reckless Driving

    Reckless driving involves intentionally ignoring traffic laws and disregarding road safety. Speeding, weaving in and out of lanes, tailgating, and aggressive driving are all reckless driving that increases the risk of large truck accidents. Reckless driving can also include distracted or impaired driving, which significantly impairs a driver’s judgment and ability to safely operate a truck.

    Mechanical Malfunction

    When a truck has a mechanical problem, it can become problematic for the driver to control the vehicle. The truck may also lose some parts that can fly off and hit other motor vehicles or cause serious accidents.

    Overloading and Poor Cargo Loading

    Trucks with too much or wrong cargo can easily tip over because they are unstable and have trouble making turns or changing lanes. Sometimes, when a truck makes a sharp turn, and the cargo is heavier on that side, the truck can roll over, possibly leading to a chain of secondary accidents.

    Weather Conditions

    Weather conditions can affect truck accidents in many ways. The US Federal Highway Administration reports that weather is responsible for 21% of accidents.

    Some of the weather factors that can cause truck accidents are:

    • Rain

    • Snow

    • Ice

    • Hail

    • Sleet

    • Fog

    • Extreme heat or cold

    • Strong winds

    These factors can make roads slippery, reduce visibility, and damage the truck parts. They can also make the truck hard to control.

    Driving Under the Influence

    Many truck drivers, including experienced drivers, use drugs or alcohol while driving, which can cause fatal accidents. Drugs and alcohol impair the driver’s judgment and ability to react on time to sudden changes or unexpected road hazards.

    The Other Driver

    Contrary to popular belief, commercial trucks aren’t always to blame for accidents. Drivers of passenger vehicles or motorcycles can cause a trucking accident when they don’t adhere to traffic laws or violate other laws. A passenger vehicle driver who runs a red light and bumps into a truck will likely be found entirely at fault for the accident if the truck driver didn’t violate any laws.

    When a passenger vehicle collides with a semi-truck, their injuries and damages can be catastrophic due to the weight and size difference between the two vehicles. If you’ve been in a truck accident and the truck driver wasn’t at fault, you can still seek compensation from the other driver if they were.

    Check out these safe driving practices every truck driver should follow.

    What Happens After a Truck Accident?

    Legal Consequences

    Truck drivers are often found at fault for accidents if they are the result of negligent behaviors. However, trucking companies, manufacturers, cargo loading companies, or third-party drivers can also be leading or contributing causes of truck accidents. As a truck accident victim, you are entitled to file a claim against the liable party and recover compensation for your damages and losses. Your truck accident lawyer will help you through the process.

    Medical Implications

    The injuries frequently observed in victims of non-fatal crashes include:

    • Fractures
    • Spinal cord trauma
    • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
    • Internal organ impairments
    • Lacerations
    • Contusions
    • Paralysis
    • Burns

    Based on the nature and consequences of these injuries, seeking medical attention after an accident is essential. Victims of large truck crashes may require surgical procedures and therapeutic rehabilitation like physical therapy and occupational therapy. 

    Financial Impact

    Motor vehicle crashes often result in significant financial burdens for those affected. The costs can quickly add up, encompassing medical bills for hospitalization, surgical procedures, prescribed medications, and rehabilitative therapy. Victims may also suffer income loss due to either temporary or permanent disabilities. Additionally, vehicle repairs and replacement costs may also be significant.

    Emotional Distress

    Truck accidents can leave victims with not only physical scars but also emotional trauma. Survivors of trucking accidents often experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues as a result of the traumatic event. They may also develop a fear of driving or being around large trucks, impacting their daily lives and relationships.

    The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You After a Truck Accident

    If youve been involved in a truck accident, you need a personal injury attorney with experience handling truck accident cases.

    Attorneys at Dressie Law Firm have been helping victims of trucking accidents in Atlanta for decades. Our team of over 20 dedicated legal professionals is here to help you hold accountable the liable party and recover maximum compensation.

    Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!

    The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You

    If you or a loved one is a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, we want you to know that the law is on your side and so is the Dressie Law Firm.

    Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!