Causes of Truck Accidents

Causes of Truck Accidents

Causes of Truck AccidentsFlatbeds, box trucks, big rigs – just the sight of large trucks alone is intimidating. When you share the road with semi-trucks, it’s a different story.

Even with extreme caution, truck accidents happen more than they should.

But what causes truck accidents most often? Most common causes and contributing factors in truck collisions involve negligence by truck drivers and trucking companies.

Determining the cause of a truck accident helps you prove liability and obtain the fair compensation you deserve.

If you suffered harm in a truck accident, you’re not alone in your struggles. Philadelphia truck accident attorney can provide the legal support you need and protect your rights as a collision victim.

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Semi-Truck Accidents are a Substantial Problem

It’s no secret truck accidents happen frequently, causing severe injury, property damage, and, in the most serious cases, even death. A simple internet search yields countless results to prove the point.

The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that, in a recent year, over 117,000 trucks were involved in crashes causing injuries. That same year, 5,700 trucks were involved in accidents resulting in fatalities. This represents a whopping 49 percent increase in the number of fatal crashes in the last decade.

Truck accidents can happen anywhere on any road. Still, certain states see more truck accidents than others, including Kansas and Nebraska, while others see fewer collisions, like Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Not surprisingly, the states that see more truck-accident-related deaths are the larger states, including Florida and California.

The Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Much like car accidents, there are various causes of truck accidents. However, unlike car crashes, much more can go wrong in a collision with a large semi-truck.

Some of the most common causes of truck accidents are as follows.



Speeding is a notable problem for large truck drivers.

Speed limits set the top speed at which it is safe to drive on that particular road. Many roads feature lower speed limits for large trucks, as speeding is even more dangerous for them.

Speeding has several serious repercussions, including increasing stopping speed and distance and escalating the impact and severity of collisions. Driving faster also makes it more difficult for drivers to control the truck completely. When a large truck speeds down the road, the driver puts themselves and others on the road at risk.

Aggressive Driving

At some point, every driver has experienced aggression on the road, often referred to as road rage. A little impatience and frustration is normal, but sometimes, truck drivers take it too far. Sometimes, they lack control over their emotions, and escalating anger plays out into their driving behaviors.

Aggression regularly causes drivers to engage in dangerous driving conduct, such as speeding, following too closely, and weaving in and out lanes.

Truck drivers might intimidate those in smaller vehicles, flash lights, or engage in other distracting or threatening actions. It is hazardous for regular drivers to do, and even more so for drivers of large trucks.

Violation of Traffic Laws

Many times, truck drivers believe the road rules don’t apply to them. They’re large and intimidating, so who’s going to stop them?

This mentality often gets truck drivers in a heap of trouble and significantly increases the chances of collisions. Road signs, lights, and laws are in place for good reason, and everything, including drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, must follow them at all times.

Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

Truck drivers spend long hours on the road, day in and day out. Life on the road can be boring, contributing to distractions while driving.

Operating a large truck takes particular skill and attention. It’s not easy, requiring drivers to give their full attention to the task at hand. Nonetheless, some drivers, especially the more experienced ones, fall into the temptation of distraction, heightening the likelihood of accidents.

Common distractions, like eating, texting, and daydreaming, may seem innocent, but even the most “harmless” distraction can cause a collision in a split second.

Inadequate Caution in Inclement Weather

Weather conditions can seriously affect drivers’ experience on the road. Certain weather conditions, like rain and snow, can make traffic worse and cause roads to become wet and slippery. Even so, truck drivers must continue on their path to their destination.

Truck drivers must adapt to the conditions when driving in bad weather, like driving slower and more cautiously. Ignoring the weather and driving as normal regularly has negative repercussions.

Improper Truck Maintenance 

Semi-trucks are complicated machines. They require special maintenance and care, especially because they’re on the road so much and go for miles and miles. Improper maintenance can easily cause truck issues, which can result in a driver losing control of the truck and colliding with other vehicles.

Contributing Factors to the Causes of Trucking Collisions

Every truck accident is unique. Therefore, looking at the whole picture and the circumstances that caused a collision is necessary.

In many cases, specific factors contribute to truck crashes, as these details considerably increase the chances of collisions and causing harm to others. These factors can contribute to other types of truck accidents, like car crashes, but are even more typical in trucking situations.

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation and fatigue are some of the biggest problems for truck drivers. Drivers are expected to spend long days on the road, often running on very little sleep.

Fatigue can have similar effects on the body as alcohol. Tiredness can slow reaction times, impact judgment, and result in dozing off behind the wheel.

Because of this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the entity regulating trucking, has implemented hours of service regulations, which dictate how long a driver can stay on the road before taking a break and rest.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a widespread problem among commercial truck drivers for many reasons. More notably, truck drivers live very solitary lives in most cases.

This loneliness often drives these individuals to engage in drug and alcohol consumption. Additionally, truck drivers also utilize drugs to fight off fatigue and work longer hours.

Lack of Proper Training and Experience

The experience of driving a truck is unlike that of driving other vehicles, as it requires unique skills. For this reason, truck drivers must receive proper training and obtain a special license before hitting the road in a large commercial vehicle.

When drivers do not obtain adequate training or gain enough experience to feel comfortable on the open road, they’re more likely to cause accidents, resulting in injuries and fatalities.

Time Constraints

If you know anything about the trucking industry, you know truck drivers work on deadlines. These strict deadlines put pressure on drivers, causing them to engage in dangerous behaviors, including speeding, drug use, and forgoing sleep altogether.

While the FMCSA provides hours of service regulations, some truckers and trucking companies ignore these regulations. Not only can these violations result in tremendous repercussions, but they can also cause unnecessary collisions.

Injuries Often Resulting from Truck Accidents

As mentioned, truck accidents ordinarily result in injuries. Some of the injuries common to large truck collisions include:

  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries

Unfortunately, severe injuries can develop into subsequent issues and long-term consequences, including paralysis, brain damage, and amputations. In the most tragic events, victims succumb to their injuries.

Many times, the cause of the accident ties into the resulting injuries. For example, if speeding is the cause of a crash, the impact of the collision is likely greater, bringing about more severe injuries.

Taking Action After a Trucking Collision

Trucking Collision

You may have legal options if you’ve been involved in a truck accident. Depending on the circumstances, you may have the opportunity to seek compensation from the party responsible for your crash and injuries.

Oftentimes, truck accident cases begin with pursuing financial recovery from the liable party’s insurance company. Based on the outcome of your insurance claim, you may or may not need to take further legal action and file a truck accident lawsuit.

Filing a personal injury lawsuit allows you to continue your pursuit of monetary compensation with the court’s backing. While these cases can be stressful and time-consuming, filing a lawsuit can give you the best chance of obtaining the financial recovery you need.

Following a trucking collision, a skilled truck accident attorney can decide whether you have a viable case. If so, they can protect your rights and interests throughout your case while working to reach the most favorable conclusion on your behalf.

Proving the Cause of Your Truck Accident

Following a trucking collision, you’ll need to prove what caused the crash to aid your case and assist in your pursuit of compensation. However, many times, that’s easier said than done.

It’s not always clear what causes a trucking accident. Consequently, a thorough investigation may be necessary to get to the bottom of what caused your accident. This is where a lawyer comes in handy.

A truck accident attorney can do whatever is necessary to figure out what caused your collision and prove it. It regularly involves obtaining evidence, including surveillance and traffic cam footage, black box data, and police reports.

Many times, establishing the cause of a trucking crash is not an easy feat. Still, truck accident lawyers have the skills and resources to prove the cause and strengthen your claim.

The Issues With Truck Accident Cases

Truck accident cases are tough to navigate for many reasons. Contrary to popular belief, they are harder to manage than regular car accident cases and regularly take more time to resolve.

The following are some of the more substantial issues with trucking cases. Still, no matter the challenges, you can trust a truck accident attorney to handle your case and get through any obstacles efficiently your case may face.

Trucks Have the Capacity to Cause Extensive Injury and Destruction

Commercial trucks often weigh 20 to 30 times more than a regular car. They’re heavier, taller, and more capable of causing harm, death, and destruction.

Because of this, it can be particularly difficult to handle truck accident cases because more is usually required. The more injury and damage a truck causes in a collision, the more compensation is usually sought to cover everyone’s losses.

Dealing with Insurance Companies is a Challenge

When truck accident victims seek sizable amounts of monetary recovery, the insurance company becomes harder to deal with.

Commercial vehicles are protected by massive insurance policies, with coverage sometimes reaching the millions. Insurance companies want to protect their money, making it tougher for victims to get the compensation they need.

The Trucking Industry is Heavily Regulated

Trucking Industry

Partly due to the fact that trucking can be dangerous, the trucking industry is regulated by many state and federal laws. Lack of knowledge about these regulations will make handling involved truck accident cases nearly impossible.

Fortunately, experienced truck accident lawyers are familiar with these laws. Therefore, they can better determine when there has been a violation and use the situation to their advantage.

Handling a truck accident case alone will yield unfavorable results.

Although you may feel alone in your situation, you are not. You can obtain legal assistance when you need it. As soon as possible after your trucking collision, consult a local truck accident lawyer to discuss your situation.

An attorney can review the specifics of your case and determine the best way to proceed. They can also provide much-needed guidance and direction during a rather confusing time.

A qualified truck accident lawyer can handle every case-related task, from proving cause to negotiating for a settlement. A strong representation can get the justice and results you deserve.

Gabriel Levin Author Image

Gabriel Levin - Attorney

Gabriel Levin is a highly experienced and credible attorney with over 10 years of practice in Pennsylvania. Known for his tenacity, he has represented clients in a wide range of civil matters, trying hundreds of cases. He prepares each case as if it will go to trial, ensuring meticulous attention to detail.

Unlike many firms that delegate tasks, Levin personally handles every aspect of a case and maintains open communication with clients throughout. He has secured millions in compensation, making him a reliable choice for those seeking legal representation.

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