Causes of Truck Accidents

Leading Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck Accident Attorneys in Philadelphia

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the U.S. has seen a 20 percent increase in trucking accidents over the past two decades. With half a million accidents occurring each year on our roadways, tens of thousands of people are injured, and roughly 5,000 people lose their lives annually in preventable crashes. Tragically, 98 percent of truck accident fatalities are drivers of passenger vehicles.

While there are an endless number of factors that could lead to an accident, most accident causes typically fall under the following five categories:

  • Driver error. The FMCSA has determined that driver error is ten times more likely to be the cause of an accident than any other factor. Driver error is based in negligence and can include factors such as distracted driving, driver fatigue, or driving under the influence or alcohol or drugs (illicit, prescription, and over-the-counter). Aggressive or otherwise inattentive driving, including speeding, recklessly changing lanes, or taking unnecessary risks is another form of driver error that increases the likelihood of a collision.
  • Improper loading. In order to keep a truck balanced, all cargo must be safely configured within the trailer to ensure even distribution of weight. When improperly loaded, cargo can shift dangerously within the trailer, causing the truck to malfunction while in motion. Improper loading can also cause cargo to fall out of the back of a truck into oncoming traffic.
  • Poor weather conditions. While drivers ultimately are responsible for maintaining control of their vehicles at all times and in all weather conditions, adverse weather often plays a role in crashes. Because of the large size and heavy weight of trucks, they cannot be stopped or steered as easily as cars. When drivers fail to account for these limitations during wet, rainy, snowy, windy, or icy conditions, they run the risk of losing control of their vehicle and causing an accident.
  • Equipment failure. Equipment failure can be caused by design errors, manufacturing errors, or negligent vehicle maintenance. The FMCSA requires all truck companies and drivers to perform regular inspections on their vehicles before each trip and perform maintenance throughout the year. Unfortunately, many drivers ignore these rules, leading to a large number of accidents. Two of the most common maintenance-related equipment failures involve aging tires and brakes.
  • Negligent hiring. Truck companies have a responsibility to ensure that they hire well-qualified and competent drivers. Companies negligently hire when they fail to ensure that a driver has the appropriate driver’s license, fail to check the individual’s driving record, fail to perform drug testing, or fail to ensure that the driver’s truck is in compliance with FMCSA regulations.

Steadfast Representation for Philadelphia Truck Accident Victims

Because there are so many factors that may contribute to a trucking accident, it is often the case that potentially liable parties will attempt to deflect the blame away from themselves to avoid financial responsibility. That is why it is wise to seek the counsel of a seasoned Philadelphia truck accident attorney at Shrager, Spivey & Sachs. After thoroughly investigating the cause of your accident, we can determine who can be held accountable for your accident and pursue just compensation from those responsible with the full force of the law. We consistently work with highly-skilled and respected experts to find and corroborate evidence to improve your chances of receiving maximum payout.

With more than 80 years of collective experience, we have handled countless truck accident cases, some of which have returned multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. If a truck company or driver has violated their duty of care or blatantly disregarded important FMCSA regulations, they should be held accountable for their actions. Our goal is to maximize your compensation and help you obtain justice after an accident that never should have happened.

If you have been injured in a truck accident or suffered the loss of a loved one, please call our office today to speak with a member of our legal team. Case evaluations are provided free of charge when you call (888)899-0652.