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The 10 Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Posted on: March 31, 2023

Commercial truck accidents can be catastrophic, causing serious injuries or even fatalities. Due to the size and weight of commercial trucks, accidents involving them are more likely to result in severe damage and injuries than other types of accidents. The transportation industry is a vital part of the economy, yet truck accidents can have significant financial impacts on both businesses and consumers.

In this article, we will explore the top causes of truck collisions, injuries, and deaths, bringing awareness to these dangers. By understanding the causes of truck accidents and taking necessary precautions, we can reduce the number of accidents and make the roads safer for everyone.

A truck driver resting in a wheel next to his truck


1. Driver Fatigue

According to Forbes, one of the most significant causes of commercial truck accidents is driver fatigue. Commercial truck drivers often exceed the legally permitted driving time limits, which can result in fatigue and a higher risk of accidents. Federal regulations permit property-carrying commercial truck drivers to operate their vehicles for up to 11 hours after taking a rest of 10 consecutive hours, while passenger-carrying drivers are authorized to drive for a maximum of 10 hours after taking eight consecutive hours off duty.

We have found that drivers and their employers ignore these limitations. Finding this information in discovery in a case is often vitally important to the success of that case.


2. Speeding

Speeding is another major cause of commercial truck accidents. According to the 2022 Safer Trucking Report released by the Institute for Safer Trucking, between 2011 and 2020, there was a 164% surge in fatalities resulting from truck crashes on roads where the speed limit is 75mph or higher. When commercial trucks are traveling at high speeds, it can be difficult for the truck driver to react to unexpected situations, leading to accidents. The weight of the vehicle and often the trailer necessitates greater stopping distances that often cannot occur at such high speeds.


3. Improperly Loaded Cargo

Improperly loaded cargo can also lead to a variety of issues, including cargo shift, unbalanced weight distribution, and overloaded trailers. These problems can lead to accidents, and even worse, they can cause cargo to spill onto the road, which can create additional hazards for other drivers.

Determining what the proper load was can be important to determine what was the cause of the crash. Additionally, if another company was responsible for loading the vehicle and did so improperly, this may be an additional defendant to consider.


4. Equipment Failure

Equipment failure is another major cause of commercial truck accidents. One of the three major types of critical events linked with truck fatalities, as stated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), is the loss of control of the vehicle caused by traveling at a speed unsuitable for the road conditions, vehicle systems malfunction, cargo shifting, or poor road conditions.


5. Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving is a common cause of truck accidents. This type of behavior includes speeding, tailgating, weaving through traffic, and failing to use a turn signal when changing lanes. These actions can create hazardous road conditions and increase the risk of a collision.

Wheels of a commercial truck kicking up water while driving through a rain storm


6. Poor Weather Conditions

Poor weather conditions can create hazardous driving conditions for commercial truck drivers. Rain, snow, and ice can reduce visibility and make the road surface slick, which can increase the risk that an accident will occur.


7. Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a growing concern for commercial truck drivers. In 2020, the Institute for Safer Trucking reported that distracted truck drivers were involved in 248 fatal crashes, leading to 277 fatalities. Distracted driving behavior can include texting or talking on the phone while driving, eating or drinking while driving, or even reading while driving.


8. Inexperienced Drivers

Inexperienced drivers are at a higher risk of being involved in commercial truck accidents. According to the Institute for Safer Trucking, younger drivers between the ages of 18-20 were three times more likely to have fatal crashes due to distracted driving. Inexperienced drivers may lack the necessary skills and training to handle unexpected situations on the road. In the last few years, trucking companies have lost many older and more experienced drivers who have been replaced by drivers who are often new to driving a large truck. These drivers can be some of the most dangerous on the road.


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9. Failure to Obey Traffic Laws

Failure to obey traffic laws is another common cause of commercial truck accidents. This can include not stopping at red lights and stop signs, not yielding the right of way, and speeding in construction zones. These actions can create dangerous situations on the road and increase the risk of accidents.


10. Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a major cause of commercial truck accidents. According to the FMCSA, motor vehicle crashes are significantly influenced by major factors such as alcohol consumption. When commercial truck drivers are under the influence, their judgment and reaction time are impaired, which can lead to accidents.

Commercial trucks seen on the road through a passenger vehicle windshield

What to Do After a Truck Accident

If you are in an accident with a commercial truck, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention for your injuries. Once you have received medical attention, it’s important to contact a truck accident attorney who has experience with truck accident cases. A qualified attorney can help guide you as you file a claim, negotiate with the insurance company, and pursue the compensation you deserve. It’s important to document the accident scene and gather information from the truck driver, including their name, contact information, and insurance details. Avoid admitting fault or making any statements that could be construed as an admission of guilt.


Experienced Representation for Truck Accident Cases

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it’s important to seek the help of experienced attorneys who can fight for your rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation. At Beers and Gordon P.A., our attorneys have over 70 years of combined litigation experience and have represented clients in a wide range of cases, including truck accidents.

We understand that every case is unique, and some may require aggressive litigation to achieve the desired results. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing compassionate, honest, and professional representation to our clients, and we strive to build a trusting relationship with each one.

Truck accidents are unique because of the available evidence that may exist. Without an experienced attorney who knows what evidence may exist and also importantly how to preserve that evidence, your trucking case could be lost.

Our attorneys have worked with international, billion-dollar insurance companies, which has proven invaluable in the assessment of every case and claim. We have tried over 85 cases combined and are permitted to practice before all state courts in Florida, including appellate courts and appeals courts.

We offer a free consultation, and there are no attorney fees until your case is resolved. When you work with us, you can discuss your case directly with an attorney rather than an investigator or case worker, ensuring that you get the most honest and professional consideration.

If you’re looking for an experienced and trustworthy attorney to represent you in a truck accident case, look no further than Beers and Gordon P.A. Contact us today to discuss your case directly with an attorney and get the professional consideration you deserve.


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