Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents

common causes of commercial truck accidents

While distracted driving and speeding do play a role in commercial truck accidents, additional circumstances surround commercial trucking and the common instances of negligence in the industry that can heighten dangerous situations for everyone on the road.

Commercial truck drivers carry a lot of responsibility to get their goods safely to a destination. However, many of them are under pressure to make their deliveries as quickly as possible. This pressure, combined with factors such as driving for long hours, inclement weather, poor road conditions, and mechanical problems, has the potential to cause a serious truck accident.

If you or a family member are the victims of an accident caused by a negligent commercial truck driver you have the right to seek compensation for the damages caused by the driver, a trucking company, or a truck manufacturer depending on the circumstances.

Data from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) averaged over 4,200 fatal commercial truck accidents between 2015-2020. Of those people who were killed in a truck accident, nearly 70% were occupants of a passenger vehicle. According to the National Safety Council, in 2020, 107,000 commercial trucks were involved in crashes resulting in injury.

Commercial truck accidents are extremely complex as they generally include many more factors than a typical car accident. Hiring a highly awarded trucking accident law firm can help you get the maximum compensation you deserve.

Why do commercial truck accidents happen?

Major Cause of Truck Accidents: Driver Fatigue
Drivers are allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours per day. That is 77 hours per week on the road. However, if under pressure to get to their destination or trying to make up time for unforeseen delays, many truck drivers will attempt to drive more hours than they safely should. Lack of sleep, or falling asleep at the wheel, is a major cause of truck accidents.

Mechanical Failures: Brake Failure, Blown Tires, Breakdowns
Truck owners are required by law to see that their trucks are in top working condition when setting out on the road, however, this takes time, money, and potentially hours of usage away while undergoing maintenance. Consequently, many trucks are not given proper maintenance which can lead to mechanical failure like brake failure or blown tires, which can cause an accident.

Unsafe Driving: Speeding and Overtaking
As truck drivers face deadlines to get their deliveries made, they may resort to unsafe driving. Speeding in an 18-wheeler truck significantly reduces reaction time so if a driver is faced with a dangerous situation, they may not be able to break immediately or move over quickly enough to avoid an accident. Another truck accident cause is when a truck cuts off – or overtakes – a vehicle. If the vehicle veers off the road, the likelihood of the accident being fatal is high.

Other Causes: Drug / Alcohol Use, Distracted Driving, Lack of Skill
Many truck drivers who have been involved in an accident have been found guilty of using alcohol and/or drugs on the job. Some use these substances to stay awake to drive longer hours. Drivers have also been found guilty of distracted driving due to phone usage while driving. Sometimes accidents are caused simply because the truck driver lacks expertise and skill in handling large commercial trucks.

How We Can Help

Our Bakersfield truck accident attorneys have handled hundreds of commercial truck accident cases. We are familiar with the causes of commercial truck accidents and skilled at acquiring drivers’ logs, company records, and other evidence to create strong cases.

Rodriguez & Associates is a personal injury firm well known for all the above. Founder and lead attorney, Daniel Rodriguez, has a degree in engineering and 30+ years of esteemed personal injury experience with concentrated experience in truck accidents. He, along with attorneys Chantal Trujillo and Danay Gonzalez, obtained the highest personal injury verdict in Kern County history of $70,578,289 million against a trucking company.

For a free and confidential consultation about your case, please fill out this form or call/text: (661) 777-7575. We speak Spanish and English.