Accidents involving commercial trucks happen every day.
This multi-billion dollar industry is good at transporting cargo from one place to another quickly and efficiently, but unfortunately in the process sometimes the hurry to get somewhere can cause an accident. These accidents can then result in catastrophic injuries and loss for those involved. Trucks are able to cause far greater devastation than other accidents, so there are likely to be more injuries and more vehicles affected when a crash involves a huge vehicle like a semi truck or tractor triler. The damages that these vehicles can do is immense because they are 20 times the size of regular vehicles and weigh significantly more.
A few common causes of truck accidents are equipment failure, driver error, improper loading, and weather conditions.
Driver Error, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, is the most likely of the top common causes of truck accidents. In fact, driver error is ten times more likely to cause a truck accident crash than any of the other contributing factors. Driver error can include substance abuse, driver fatigue, distraction, or general inattention. Truck drivers need to be extra diligent because a minor error in another vehicle will be much more difficult to correct or recover from than it would be in a smaller vehicle.
Truck Equipment Failure is second to driver error in causing crashes. Failures in trucking equipment can include errors in tire design, mechanical problems, failure to provide reverse-detection warning devices, and design errors, among many others.
Because equipment failure can be so dangerous, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires trucking companies and every truck driver to perform inspections prior to each trip. They also require that trucks be maintained and inspected at regular intervals throughout the year. If trucking companies were compliant with these regulations, mechanical failures would be far less common. Common issues like blown out tires would become obsolete. But because trucking companies choose to disregard the guidelines, many more truck accidents occur than would have to.
Weather conditions can have a huge effect on how trucks operate and are driven. Braking is made more difficult in adverse weather conditions like rain or snow. And poor visibility can be even more dangerous for big vehicles than for smaller vehicles, as huge vehicles are much more difficult to steer.
Truck drivers have a schedule to keep, and oftentimes do not factor weather conditions into drive time and end up having to rush, which can be incredibly dangerous.
Loading is extremely important. Improper loading causes imbalance which can lead to truck malfunction or even rollover. Another frightening, but all too common problem, is when an unsecured load becomes loose and fall off the back of the truck into the road.
Improper care in selecting a truck driver or company
In some cases trucking companies do not properly select drivers with enough care. This may be a case of not checking credentials, not drug testing regularly, etc. When hiring a trucking company or truck driver, it is very important that you look for credentials and reputation.
St. Louis Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, contact experienced St. Louis truck accident attorney James M. Hoffmann as soon as possible. At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann we will investigate the crash, determine fault, and pursue damages for the losses and injuries you experienced in the accident.
To schedule a free consultation call us today at (314) 361-4300.
photo credit: TarahDawdy