Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Oct 16, 2017 in Truck Accidents
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, the question of what caused the accident and who is responsible can be difficult to answer. This is because truck accident cases are complex. There are several parties involved in the transport of goods on trucks and any one of these parties could potentially have played a role in causing your accident.
For this reason, it is vital that you contact a seasoned truck accident lawyer in New Haven to review the details of your accident and help you determine the cause of the collision and who should be held liable. You may be entitled to compensation and, it is best to work with an experienced auto accident lawyer to help ensure you receive the payment you deserve.
Truck Driver Error
Like all motorists on the road, it is a truck driver’s responsibility to ensure that he or she is obeying the rules of the road and driving in a safe way. Unfortunately, this does not always happen and truck drivers can cause accidents when they engage in any of the following behaviors:
- Aggressive driving
- Unsafe lane changing
- Following too closely
- Failure to check blind spots
Other common driver errors that cause truck accidents include:
Like all motorists, truck drivers must obey the posted speed limit. A failure to do this can have devastating consequences. Because of the large size and heavy weight of commercial trucks, the faster a truck is traveling, the greater distance the truck will require to come to a complete stop. This problem is made worse when poor road conditions or inclement weather make it even more difficult for a truck to stop.
All drivers must focus their full attention on the road. Studies show that taking your eyes off the road for five seconds to send a text or read an email is equal to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
If a truck driver is distracted by a cellphone, the radio or another person in the vehicle, it can cause a serious accident. The driver may not see hazards in the road and will not have time to react quickly enough to avoid an accident.
Use of Drugs or Alcohol
Like all drivers, truck drivers are forbidden from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which can inhibit a driver’s ability to make important decisions while driving. However, despite strict rules from federal regulators, the use of alcohol and prescription or illegal drugs still cause truck accidents. Furthermore, over-the-counter medications have also been a cause for truck accidents, as many medications can make the user drowsy.
Truck drivers are required to follow strict hours of service regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These rules are meant to limit the hours a driver is on the road to prevent the dangerous effects of drowsy driving that can cause accidents, such as:
- Difficulty focusing
- Delayed reaction times
- Difficulty staying in your own lane
If a driver chooses to disobey this law or feels that he or she must push past this law to obey the orders of his or her employer, serious consequences may result.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
Although there are strict requirements for the weight that commercial trucks can carry and how their cargo must be secured, it is not uncommon for truck accidents to be caused by cargo or materials that fall off of a truck. Cargo that falls off a truck at high speeds can cause serious damage to the vehicles and individuals in the surrounding area.
Furthermore, if a truck is overloaded and exceeds the weight limits set by regulations, the cargo could cause the truck to tip on its side, potentially falling onto another vehicle or individual. It could also cause issues with steering, stopping and other driving functions.
Another heavily regulated area of the trucking industry is the maintenance and up-keep of the vehicles. The wear and tear of driving these large vehicles for several hours almost every day can have serious effects on the safety and effectiveness of the vehicles’ parts.
For this reason, the FMCSA requires regular maintenance inspections. Drivers must perform certain inspections every day before driving, and more in-depth inspections must occur at regularly scheduled times.
Some of the most common causes of accidents resulting from poor maintenance are a result of problems with:
Although truck drivers and their employers are responsible for maintaining a truck, sometimes the parts are simply defective and do not work as intended. In these situations, a poorly designed part or malfunctioning piece of the truck could cause a severe accident.
Contact Our New Haven Truck Accident Lawyers
Because there are many causes of truck accidents, it is important that you consult with a trusted truck accident lawyer in New Haven if you were injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling complex auto accident cases like this.
Contact D’Amico & Pettinicchi today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with our trusted team. We work on a contingency fee basis and do not charge any legal fees unless you obtain compensation.