Trucking accidents are far more dangerous for drivers than regular car accidents. The size
and weight of commercial trucks are vastly greater than that of the average
passenger car and can have devastating consequences. There are a number
of causes of trucking accidents, and the liability of trucking accidents
can vary greatly, depending on the cause. If you’ve been injured
in a semi-truck accident, it is critical to understand the cause of your
accident for your claim. Here are some of the most common causes of truck
Commercial truck drivers have a much higher duty of care that they owe
to other drivers on the road, but that doesn’t mean that they cannot
make careless mistakes. It is the job of the trucking company to fully
train their drivers in defensive driving techniques and ensure they are
prepared for a number of situations. The company must also enforce strict
policies regarding rest time, substance use, and other factors that can
make a driver dangerous. When companies fail to do, the results can be deadly.
It is also up to auto drivers to drive carefully when sharing the road
with semi-trucks. More than 80% of all truck accidents were caused by
a passenger vehicle, and not by the truck driver, according to the
American Trucking Associations.
Poor Truck Maintenance
While most passenger vehicles are maintained every few months or few thousand
miles, commercial trucks should be maintained far more frequently. This
is because of two main factors: semi-trucks drive hundreds of thousands
of miles every year, meaning that they wear out more quickly, and equipment
failure caused by wear and tear must be prevented. Trucking companies
are responsible for ensuring that trucks are properly repaired and maintained.
They also are responsible for ensuring that drivers are trained to inspect
their trucks and report potential problems so they can be addressed. If
a driver overlooks worn brake pads, or the maintenance crew sends out
a truck without ensuring that it was in fully operational condition, and
an accident occurs due to a mechanical issue, the trucking company may
be held liable for any injuries or deaths that occur.
As mentioned above, equipment failure due to improper maintenance is a
danger, but trucks can break down due to other factors. Faulty parts or
design is another factor that can lead to equipment failure. If a truck’s
brakes fail under normal use due to a faulty part, the manufacturer of
the truck or the faulty part may be the liable party.
Bad Weather Conditions
When it’s raining, windy, snowing, dark, or foggy, all drivers on
the road need to take additional precautions to prevent accidents. Trucks,
with their heavier weights, have much longer stopping distances and less
maneuverability. This means that poor weather conditions require even
more care and attention than a truck driver would normally be expected
to give. Trucking companies must also train drivers in proper driving
techniques to help them safely navigate less-than-clear conditions.
Faulty Cargo Loading
Whether hauling a flatbed trailer or a box trailer, the weight distribution
and security of the load is of the utmost importance. This is why there
are industry regulations regarding how loads are to be loaded and secured
for the trip. When cargo isn’t properly loaded, it can lead to accidents.
Cargo can shift and throw off the balance of a truck, making it a challenge
to maintain control. It can also fall from the trailer, creating a serious
traffic hazard. Ground crews and truck drivers need to be properly trained
in appropriate loading procedures and follow all regulations.
Many trucking accidents are caused by preventable events. If you or a loved
one has been injured in a trucking accident, you may be able to recover
compensation for your damages. Our Tampa Bay
personal injury attorneys are prepared to assist you through every step of your case.
At the Paulsen Law Group, our experienced team will support you and offer
personalized legal solutions for your case. Schedule a free consultation
to learn more about your options.
Ready to learn more?
Contact our firm by calling (727) 270-8260.