Semi-trucks, also known as 18-wheelers, are a common sight across the United States, from Interstate Highways to rural towns. Approximately 2 million semi-trucks are in operation around the country at any given time, delivering various goods and products. These large trucks weigh around 10,000 pounds, and accidents involving these trucks are frequently catastrophic.
When you’re involved in an accident with a large truck, it can cause multiple injuries and possibly a fatality. Those who’ve been involved in this type of crash will need reputable truck accident lawyers to ensure they get justice if the accident is not their fault. Unfortunately, these semi-truck companies have intimidating legal teams that can be challenging to stand up against for justice.
Most often, crashes involving semi-trucks occur on interstate highways. Due to their size, these vehicles take longer to stop than a typical passenger vehicle, contributing to the frequency of accidents. In addition, truck drivers themselves are more often the cause of an accident for various reasons. However, semi-truck accidents occur for many of the same reasons as any other vehicle accident. Today, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of truck accidents.
Most trucking companies use speed trackers or speed limiters on their commercial vehicles. However, not all semi-trucks have this technology, and not all companies employ it. As these trucks are so much larger than a standard vehicle, speeding is more dangerous for truck drivers.
These massive vehicles react more slowly to changes in speed or direction due to the momentum they build, meaning commercial drivers have less control over the truck. As a result, speeding is one of the top culprits of truck accidents as the driver cannot get the speeding truck to slow down before crashing into another vehicle. Speeding in any vehicle is reckless, and truck drivers who speed are putting even more lives in danger.
Neglecting Federal Regulations
There are federal regulations to prevent truckers from driving fatigued so they can stay alert while making their routes. These regulations mean that a commercial driver cannot drive for more than 11 hours consecutively and must take a 10-hour break between driving shifts. In addition, drivers cannot drive more than 60 hours in a week or 70 hours in eight days. There are more rules in place to help protect all drivers. However, these regulations are not always followed for several reasons, such as company scheduling practices, company culture, and personal motivations.
Though accidents involving 18-wheelers are usually the driver’s fault or the trucking company, this isn’t always the case. Severe weather is a common cause of trucking accidents. Inclement weather can lower commercial driver visibility and make it even more challenging for them to maintain control of the 18-wheeler. Poor weather conditions, such as rain, snow, ice, high wind, and fog, can cause these accidents, and even multi-truck pileups, which are significantly more dangerous.
Aside from truck drivers, trucking companies, and inclement weather, commercial truck manufacturers are also at fault sometimes. If a vehicle manufacturer distributes a truck that was not inspected properly or had a defective part, it can lead to disaster. One of the most common causes of a truck accident of the manufacturer’s fault is brake failure. These huge vehicles already require more time and effort to slow down and stop. When the brakes are faulty and fail, it’s next to impossible to stop a runaway 18-wheeler.
There are many more causes of trucking accidents, including those that are the fault of passenger vehicle drivers. However, suppose you find yourself in an accident at the truck driver’s, trucking company’s, or manufacturer’s fault. In that case, you should consider finding a reputable truck accident lawyer to help you navigate this legal situation.