Top Ten Causes of Truck Accidents

Any kind of motor vehicle accident can be traumatic, but a collision with a truck can be particularly devastating. There are many issues to deal with, such as physical and psychological damage, lost income, and enormous health costs.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision with a truck, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. Experienced Irvine accident lawyers have the background and the experience to get you the compensation you deserve.

Top Causes

The federal agency that regulates trucking, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), did a study of this very issues, examining the circumstance of almost 1,000 accidents in which at least one truck was involved. This is what the researchers found:

  • About one-quarter of all accidents were attributable, at least in part, to drug use by the drivers – including both prescription medications and illegal substances. Any drugs can affect a driver’s reaction time
  • Excessive speed was a factor in 23 percent of all truck accidents, the FMCSA study found. Given the enormous size of most commercial trucks, adding just a few extra miles per hour of speed can turn the vehicle into a deadly weapon
  • Drivers’ lack of familiarity with the roads was an issue in 23 percent of the accidents
  • In almost 20 percent of the crashes, the driver’s reactions were affected by over-the-counter medicines
  • Any driver knows that failure to properly check mirrors – while being aware of possible blind spots – can cause a collision. Trucking companies are supposed to train their employees on how to do this, yet failure to check the mirrors correctly contributed to 14 percent of all accidents
  • Driver fatigue was an issue in 13 percent of the crashes. The federal government has issued strict regulations about when drivers have to take a break, but sometimes companies ignore these rules in their pursuit of bigger profits
  • In almost one-tenth of all accidents, the driver failed to signal before changing lanes or making a turn
  • The research showed that 8 percent of the accidents were caused in part by drivers’ attention being diverted from the road. Common distractions include roadwork and accidents
  • Large vehicles such as commercial trucks can be much tougher to drive than standard automobiles. Truckers sometimes underestimate how much room they have to maneuver, and this contributed to seven percent of the accidents
  • Aggressive driving is a problem with all kinds of motorists these days, but when drivers of big rigs get angry, the results can be lethal. In seven percent of the accidents covered in the study, “road rage” was a factor

Working with an Accident Attorney

The safety record of the driver involved in a particular accident will be a critical piece of evidence. Did this person have a history of negligence, recklessness or unwillingness to follow the rules?

As you may already be painfully aware, the physical harm caused by a truck accident can be terrible – broken bones, burns, spinal cord damage, head trauma, and paralysis, among other injuries. You may find that the personal injury protection limits on your own insurance policy are overwhelmed by these costs.

You do not have to face these struggles alone. Contact an Irvine truck accident attorney now, so they can begin building a case for you.