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What are the Leading Causes of Truck Accidents?

For those who have been driving for many years without an accident, the very thought of being involved in a collision may seem distant and impossible. Although the number of deaths on the road has decreased from the 1960s, the sad truth is that the number of fatalities is still generally creeping back up. In 2020 alone, nearly 39,000 people lost their lives due to an accident.

When trucks collide with other vehicles, it’s fair to say that the other road users are normally in a worse condition. The might of big rigs and commercial trucks is enough to cause serious damage to a much smaller vehicle. If you’ve experienced a personal injury, be sure to contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Over the years, The Injury Firm has represented many victims of accidents as well as loved ones. These accidents have been caused by tractor-trailer trucks, commercial trucks, big rigs, and other large vehicles. Legal representation ensures that you have the best chance of compensation while you focus on recovery.

Causes of Truck Accidents

1. Distracted Driving

Firstly, distracted driving is an issue in the United States right now. Drivers are warned to keep distractions to a minimum because attention, concentration, and reaction times are critical to preventing accidents. While some use their mobile devices, others are too casual and take their eyes off the road when they shouldn’t. Either way, distracted driving puts innocent parties in danger.

2. Speeding

Every year, the demand for truck drivers and companies grows. Especially after the pandemic, companies want to get goods to consumers as quickly as possible. While responsible companies fit speed limiters onto their vehicles, this isn’t true of all large vehicles. As you can imagine, speeding in big rigs and commercial trucks is even more dangerous because it takes longer to slow the vehicle down due to its size and weight.

3. Fatigue

With the aforementioned pressure on truck drivers and companies, the latter often turns a blind eye when drivers break the working hours restrictions. According to the law, no commercial driver can be on the road for longer than 11 hours without a 10-hour break. What’s more, no driver should exceed 60 driving hours per week and this included FedEx delivery drivers.

With the current societal demands on fast delivery, some companies aren’t as stringent with these rules as others. The result is tired, fatigued drivers on the road. When drivers are tired, they make poorer and slower decisions. Additionally, their reaction times are slower, and this can be the difference between avoiding and not avoiding a collision.

4. Overloaded Cargo

Sometimes, accidents are caused by the sheer weight of the cargo. When trucks are overloaded, this puts extra stress on the brakes and tires. When this stress becomes too much, the brakes can fail, or the tires can blow. As you can imagine, this causes problems for the truck driver and all other drivers.

If the cargo is external, overloading could cause flying debris to affect other road users. Drivers may need to swerve to avoid debris thus colliding with another road user or obstacle.

5. Vehicle Failure

We shouldn’t put all the blame on truck drivers because some accidents are caused by issues with the manufacturer. Vehicle manufacturers have a responsibility to only allow high-quality vehicles to leave the factory. If a faulty or poorly-designed vehicle is allowed onto the road, it’s only a matter of time before an accident occurs. In this case, the manufacturer is to blame.

Alternatively, it could be that the truck company didn’t maintain the vehicles well enough or that the garage didn’t fix a vehicle correctly.

6. Poor Recruitment

In the past, we’ve seen cases where the truck company has hired drivers who aren’t fit to operate such large vehicles. This could be because they don’t have the experience, they haven’t been trained, or they have alcohol or drug addiction troubles. Truck companies need to act cautiously with the recruitment process so that only the best drivers get behind the wheel.

7. Chameleon Carriers

With so much demand in this niche, entities known as ‘chameleon carriers’ have arisen in recent years. Essentially, these companies have poor recruitment policies, cut corners, and attempt to deliver goods cheaply. Then, once they have violated the safety regulations too many times, they close and reopen as a new entity. These types of companies cause many accidents each year.

According to the Government Accountability Office, the FMSCA recently ordered over 500 trucking and bus companies to close. Despite this, most still operate under a new name.

8. Weather

Sometimes, the weather simply caused the conditions which led to the accident. In this case, the truck accident lawyer will need to determine whether the accident was preventable or not. Could the truck driver have reduced their speed? Were they taking all the necessary precautions to avoid an accident?

9. Poor Road Conditions

Like the weather, the road conditions could have caused an accident with tractor-trailer trucks. For example, it could be that the road hadn’t been maintained properly or that the highway was poorly lit. With poor visibility, the blind spot of the truck darkens, and this causes accidents.

10. Other Causes

Elsewhere, other causes include:

  • Traffic congestion
  • Prescription drug use
  • Lack of familiarity with roads
  • Road construction
  • Aggressive driving



As a result of these causes of truck accidents, incidents occur with big rigs, commercial trucks, tractor-trailer trucks, and other large vehicles every year. If you’ve experienced a personal injury, contact The Injury Firm promptly. With a truck accident lawyer by your side, you can focus on recovering from your injuries rather than learning the law. We have the experience and resources you need to claim compensation for damages (including medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repairs, pain and suffering, and more).

Contact our friendly team for advice (we can also prevent insurance adjusters from reducing your claim as we negotiate a settlement!).

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