While all vehicle accidents can be scary and cause serious injuries, crashes involving huge big-rig trucks weighing up to 80,000 pounds can be a person’s worst nightmare. The victim can suffer catastrophic injuries like amputations, paralysis, traumatic brain injury, or serious burns that can change his life forever. Unfortunately, motorists’ deaths from truck accidents are going up, not down. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 3,964 trucks caused fatal crashes in 2013—a two percent increase from 2012.
Common But Preventable Reasons Truck Accidents Occur
While every crash with a truck is unique, there are common ways they happen. Sadly, many accidents result when truckers make avoidable errors, fail to follow safety procedures, and don’t use common sense. Some of the ways these accidents occur include:
- Speeding. A truck can be difficult to maneuver when the trucker is driving at the posted speed limit. When he speeds, he has less control if he needs to stop suddenly, when navigating curves, or is driving in dangerous weather conditions—with the unfortunate result being a deadly crash.
- Fatigue. Even if truckers follow federal rules regulating how long they can drive without a break, they drive for long hours day in and day out—often without a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, this can result in them driving when too drowsy or worse, falling asleep at the wheel.
- Distracted driving. When truckers eat, fiddle with their GPS, or text and drive, their eyes are off the road. Distracted driving is a dangerous practice no driver should engage in—especially truck drivers who can cause even more disastrous crashes.
- Truck equipment malfunctions. While truck companies are required to properly maintain their trucks and truckers are supposed to conduct inspections before starting a trip, this often does not happen. Trucks with improperly maintained safety equipment, faulty brakes, or worn tires that malfunction on the road can cause a driver to lose control of the truck—especially dangerous when he is going at high speeds on the highway.
- Improper loading. Trucks can easily roll over or have their loads fall onto the roadway if the materials they are transporting are not secured properly or distributed evenly. This can quickly develop into a multi-car crash, especially if motorists are swerving to avoid obstacles on the road.
Were you in an accident caused by a trucker? Was a family member killed? Our experienced and compassionate legal team is here to help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to. Call us today at 866-299-0558 to schedule a free consultation.