Q: What are the major causes of large truck crashes?
There is no doubt that the U.S. economy depends on the trucking industry to move goods across the country. In fact, the need for cheaper transportation of goods is so great that the U.S. House of Representatives came close to passing legislation allowing for even bigger and heavier trucks on our nation’s highways. Fortunately, the proposal—which was pushed by trucking industry lobbyists—was removed from the transportation bill being considered this fall. As they are, trucks pose risks to drivers of other vehicles and they crash for entirely preventable reasons.
These Accidents Should Not Happen
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from the last few years, nearly 4,000 people are killed in the U.S. each year in crashes involving large trucks and around 100,000 people are injured. Not surprisingly, large trucks have higher fatal crash rates per mile driven than passenger cars and most of the people killed in those fatal crashes are occupants of the cars, not the trucks.
What’s behind these crashes? The following are the most common causes:
- Equipment failure. Trucks are large, complex machines with a lot that can go wrong. Air brake failure, tire tread separation, steering malfunction, trailer attachment failure, and transmission or engine failure can all lead to violent crashes.
- Driver error. Fatigue, failure to load cargo properly, and using alcohol or drugs are all causes of crashes that land squarely on the shoulders of the driver.
- Trucking company policies. Unrealistic schedules imposed by trucking companies, despite federal regulations restricting hours of service, put pressure on drivers to drive beyond their legal limits.
All of these causes of truck crashes are preventable with regular maintenance, driver responsibility, and changes in trucking company policies.
When You Are a Victim, Call Us
If you end up a victim of one of these causes of truck crashes, we can help you get what you deserve from the driver or the trucking company. Our experienced truck crash attorneys will be on your side when you take on the big guys. Call now for a free consultation.