For more than 25 years we have been helping accident victims receive the benefits they need and deserve.
Each year thousands of people die in accidents involving tractor trailers. A majority of the victims are people in passenger vehicles in which they are not equipped to withstand that type of collision. When a tractor trailer is fully loaded, it can weigh up to 40 times as much as the average passenger vehicle. Therefore, just a simple mistake can lead to an accident causing serious and even fatal injuries.
What are the Most Common Reasons Why Truck Accidents Occur?
There are a number of factors that contribute to truck accidents. Most truck accidents result from driver error on the part of the truck driver. Some of the most common causes of this are:
- Reckless Driving – When a truck driver speeds or fails to follow traffic laws, it puts others in danger. Many accidents are the result of excessive speed combined with unsafe lane changes. Truckers often follow too closely to smaller passenger vehicles, which creates a very unsafe driving environment.
- Driver fatigue – The NHTSA has warned people about the seriousness of driver fatigue, especially for truck drivers. In fact, they report that drowsy driving killed 795 people in 2017. Because truckers often drive thousands of miles in a relatively short period of time, they are very susceptible to fatigue.
- Improper Maintenance – Federal regulations are in place which require semis to be kept in good condition. This is because when the parts and components of trucks aren’t properly maintained, it leads to serious accidents. Trucking companies are required to keep up with these regulations, but sometimes they fail to do so.
- Distracted Driving – A distracted driver is one that operates their vehicle while their vision, hands, or concentration is off the vehicle and task of driving. Using a cell phone while driving is the most common distraction, but others include eating, drinking, fiddling with the radio, and talking to other passengers. Because truckers drive long hours, they may engage in any of these habits to stay awake. While they may be trying to avoid drowsy driving, they may be doing something else that is just as dangerous.
- Substance Abuse – Many truck driver abuse drugs and alcohol to cope with their lifestyle and its demands. Unfortunately, this leads to serious consequences for them and for those they share the road with.
- Improper Loading – When a semi-truck is not loaded correctly, it can result in the truck jack-knifing or being difficult to maneuver. If the truck is loaded too quickly or if the workers are inexperienced or not properly trained, this can lead to it being loaded incorrectly. In this case, the trucking company may be liable for your accident.
Get Help from a St. Louis Truck Accident Lawyer
There are so many potential causes of trucks accidents. As a result, these cases are complex and contentious. The trucking industry is very tricky to go up against. They and their insurance companies will attempt to deny responsibility for the accident and may offer to settle for much less than they should.
To make sure that your rights are fully protected, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann as soon as possible. For more than 25 years we have been helping accident victims receive the benefits they need and deserve.