Whether you’re driving through town, just around the block, or headed out on a cross country road trip, there always exists the risk of an auto accident. Even the safest drivers can’t always account for the reckless behaviors of other motorists. While car accidents continue to be one of the leading types of accidents in the United States, the risk of injury and financial damage runs even higher in the event of truck accidents.
If you’re involved in a truck accident, you should reach out to a truck accident law firm, who can help you understand your rights and assess the options for your individual case. They can even help you get financial compensation (if your accident warrants it).
Here, we take a closer look at some of the most common causes of truck accidents. Hopefully, by understanding and being aware of these causes, drivers and truckers can both stay safer on the road.
Truck drivers are notorious for working long hours. In fact, according to reports, truck drivers may be asked to drive up to 70 hours over the course of eight days. For the average worker, this is like working two jobs at once. These long hours can cause fatigue in truck drivers, which slows their reflexes, critical thinking, and ability to respond to hazards on the road.
Whether it’s driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or even prescription medication, impaired driving is one of the most common causes of truck accidents across the country. We all know that drunk driving is incredibly dangerous, but stimulants are another cause for concern among truck drivers. Some will use stimulant drugs so that they can stay awake during long drives; however, this can deter their judgement and decision-making skills.
With quotas to hit, truck drivers often feel like speeding is the only way to get their jobs done. Most truck drivers have a certain number of miles to reach within a certain time frame. In the trucking business, time is everything. This is why speeding is such a major concern for truck drivers and is often the direct cause of truck accidents.
Distracted driving can take many different forms. Talking on the phone, texting, speaking to another passenger, eating, playing with the radio, or simply daydreaming, can all count as types of distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 2,800 Americans lost their lives to distracted driving in 2018 alone. With so much time spent on the road, truck drivers often attempt to multitask while behind the wheel, which can lead to accidents.
Each truck has a unique cargo load that fits specific length, width, height, and weight limits. Professional trucking companies don’t simply throw cargo into a truck like someone might do on moving day. Cargo loading is a technical and precise process. However, problems can still arise when cargo loading isn’t completed properly.
In the event of improper cargo loading, a truck could, for example, be too heavy and even flip over on a highway. Trucks drive through all types of weather conditions and these types of truck accidents happen more often than you might imagine. For a motorist driving anywhere near a large truck, they, too, could become involved in this type of crash.
Poor truck maintenance can be dangerous for truck drivers and other vehicles sharing the road. Any type of maintenance issue for a vehicle can quickly turn into a hazard on the open road, but imagine when that flat tire or faulty engine is attached to a massive eighteen-wheeler truck? This is a quick recipe for large, multi-car accidents.
The three most common types of truck maintenance issues are brakes, tires, and lights. A problem with any of these core parts of the truck accidents can easily lead to an accident, whether it’s a blown tire, broken blinker that fails to indicate a lane change, or faulty brakes. While truck drivers are required by law to ensure that their trucks are in working condition, this process can occasionally be overlooked due to time and financial constraints.
If you’re ever involved in a truck accident, you should first receive medical attention. Even if you feel fine, some injuries are lingering and may not be felt immediately. Also, in the event of an emergency, your body pumps adrenaline, which can temporarily mask the pain of some injuries. Your health should always be the top priority.
You should then call the police. Even if the truck accident seems straightforward and one party openly admits fault, you should have the police there to fill out an official report. A police report of the accident provides an objective assessment of the incident, and if needed, can serve as a valuable piece of evidence if the accident goes to trial.
After contacting the police and your insurance company, your next call should be to an experienced truck accident attorney. These professionals can help you understand your rights, assess your individual case, and determine whether or not your case is eligible for financial compensation. Being involved in a truck accident is a frightening, confusing, and stressful experience. By hiring a truck accident lawyer, you won’t have to go through this experience alone.
Hopefully you never find yourself or a loved one involved in a truck accident or any other type of auto accident. While every accident is unique, there are several common causes, such as fatigue or alcohol use, that lead to a statistically high percentage of truck accidents.
By understanding these causes, drivers can become more aware and practice safe driving strategies. Stay focused on the road and practicing safe driving are the most effective ways to prevent accidents of any type—truck accidents included.
However, if this does happen to you in Colorado, you’ll want to reach out to a professional truck accident attorney. These specialized personal injury attorneys are experienced in working with (and winning) these types of cases. They know how to handle trucking companies, insurance companies, and other attorneys, allowing you to focus on your own recovery. With a trusted truck accident lawyer, you can rest easy knowing someone is looking out for your rights.