Accidents involving 18-wheelers are more likely to result in serious injury and death due to the sheer size and weight of these massive vehicles. Fortunately, most large truck accidents are preventable. Unfortunately, when accidents are caused by the negligence, substance abuse, or inadequate training of the truck driver, unsuspecting occupants of passenger vehicles may have little control of what happens next. That is why defensive driving is the number one way to avoid being involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer. And in order to drive defensively, one must never be distracted.
Top 10 Causes of Trucking Accidents
In some cases, a passenger vehicle driver is responsible for a collision with a truck. But the fault often lies with the truck driver, trucking company, or a third party. The top 10 causes of trucking accidents are:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Cargo shifting or improper loading
- Truck driver’s failure to obey the rules of the road
- Under-inflated tires on large trucks
- Truck driver substance abuse
- Faulty or defective truck parts
- Improper braking
- Blind spots
- Truck driver’s reckless or careless driving
With proper training, many of the factors above can be dramatically reduced. However, problems such as speeding, fatigue and substance abuse may indicate a more deeply-seated problem. The industry culture around trucking often promotes excessively-long hours and rewards speedy deliveries. For these reasons, speeding and driver fatigue are a very real problem. Trucking can also be a lonely job, and one that requires the driver to stay awake for extended periods of time. For this reason, substance abuse is a common issue, and many truck drivers battle addiction. A Boston trucking accident lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured in an accident involving a large truck.
Trucking Accident Statistics
- According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the number of truck accidents has increased by 20 percent over the last two decades.
- Fatal large truck accidents cost more than $20 billion annually in the United States alone.
- Driver fatigue is a factor in about 30 percent of all large truck accidents.
- Approximately 130,000 people are injured in trucking accidents annually.
Who is Responsible?
Determining who is responsible for a trucking accident can be an extremely complex process. There may be multiple parties involved, including the:
- Truck driver
- Truck owner
- Trucking company
- Truck or parts manufacturer
- Shipper of the truck’s cargo
- Loader of the truck’s cargo
In some cases, only one party is responsible for a trucking accident. Other times, multiple parties are on the hook. For example, if an improperly-loaded cargo caused a truck to veer into oncoming traffic, the loading or shipping company may be responsible. But if the fatigued driver didn’t turn the wheel in time to stop the accident, he may be liable for continuing to drive while fatigued, and the trucking company may be liable for encouraging him to drive the excessive hours that led to his fatigue. A MA trucking accident lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured in a trucking accident. Continue reading