Weighing in at 20 to 30 times the average passenger car and measuring about 50 feet in length, the average tractor-trailer is designed for power. These trucks haul tons of cargo over thousands of miles every year. They are a common sight on highways. Their power and sheer size are enough to put fear in the heart of any other driver on the road. Accidents involving passenger cars and these commercial trucks are often catastrophic.
Common causes of truck accidents
Truck drivers in the US number over 3.2 million. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, approximately 5,000 people die annually due to injuries resulting from accidents involving trucks and 150,000 more are injured in these accidents.
Truck accidents result from a variety of causes. These include:
- Negligence on the part of the passenger vehicle’s driver
Truck drivers are sometimes forced into situations that cause accidents by other drivers. Passenger drivers can cause accidents by changing lanes suddenly or unsafely, speeding, taking wide turns or merging too soon in front of a truck.
- The truck driver’s negligence
Truck drivers can be found liable for an accident when it is shown that their negligent actions resulted in the accident. Negligence can be shown when you can prove the driver was driving while fatigued, driving a truck that he knows is faulty, distracted driving, speeding and other unsafe driving practices.
- Overloading or improper loading of trucks
Trucks are considered more unstable than regular passenger cars. This is because their center of gravity is higher. Cargo on the truck affects the balance of the truck. Overloading or loading a truck improperly can result in instability. This increases the chances of an accident occurring. Overloading can also put pressure on tires, which can result in blowouts.
- Poor road conditions
Poor road conditions, such as narrow lanes, sharp bends, loose surfaces, potholes, sleet and snow can result in a truck accident. Truck drivers may cause accidents while trying to avoid obstacles on poor roads. A commercial truck driver may also lose control of his truck due to poor surface conditions.
- Mechanical failure
Failure of brakes and other vehicle parts can result in truck accidents. Research has shown that more than 50% of truck accidents result from brake failure in trucks. Regular maintenance of trucks is required to ensure safety.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving a large commercial truck, get in touch with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. This will improve your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
This article was submitted on behalf of Hartford accident and injury attorney Andrew J. Cates. Click here to visit his website.