CHICAGO, IL – Commercial truck accidents are less common than car accidents; however, truck collisions have proven to be more catastrophic, and even deadly. There can be several factors leading up to a commercial-vehicle car accident, such as negligence on the manufacturer part, or perhaps the driver, and so forth.
According to GTG Technology Group, a transportation management system, there are five specific causes that may cause a trucking accident to occur:
Five Common Causes of Truck Accidents:
- Driver Error
Truck drivers are required to work long hours, with regulations allowing them to work 60 hours over seven consecutive days. Some companies have tight deadlines and overcompensate by allowing drivers to work more hours than what they are allowed, resulting in drowsiness, or under the influence driving.A passenger vehicle weighs an average of 4,000 pounds, whereas a commercial truck typically weights 80,000 pounds. On average, 81 percent of trucking accidents caused by a driver error is due to a passenger vehicle. Many people are not aware of the dangers of truck accidents, which calls for a need to improve trucking defense driving techniques.
- Equipment Failure
Equipment manufacturers may be at fault for neglecting production of a part, which can lead to a defective or dangerous component. A driver may not be the only one at fault; in addition, the parts manufacturer, a truck manufacturer, the company that sold the truck, and the mechanic who made repairs may be held liable.
- Poor Vehicle Maintenance
The average truck driver is expected to drive between 2,000 and 3,000 miles per week which results in very poor vehicle maintenance. Truck companies, drivers, and maintenance crews must regularly maintain the fleet to keep up with these trucks; moreover, the truck driver must check their rig and submit a maintenance report before the start of every shift.
Poor weather conditions can test any drivers defense skills, especially truck drivers. Poor weather conditions lead to poor road conditions, making driving much more difficult. Rain, sleet, snow, and ice can be very difficult to drive on, causing a much longer stopping distance. The weight and length of the truck may skid, hydroplane, or jackknife.
- Improper Cargo Loading
There are industry-specific rules and regulations when it comes to truck loading cargo into a commercial vehicle. There are certain state and federal regulations required of all drivers of any commercial motor vehicle such as size, weight, and length.
Drivers must ensure all cargo was properly loaded and in place for the duration of direction traveled. A minor mistake, like not properly securing cargo, or negligence, can lead to catastrophic accident on any roadway – regardless of weather.
Any type of accident can be scary, and colliding with a commercial truck can be fatal, but it is important to be proactive by educating yourself on how dangerous a truck collision can really be.
Truck Accident Statistics
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated in 2015 that over 433,000 large trucks were involved in a collision. In Illinois, there were more than 19,000 crashes involving large trucks in 2014. These crashes contributed to nearly 13 percent of all traffic fatalities that year. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of the crashes occurred in daylight and clear weather conditions.
How Many Trucks Are Really on the Road?
According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), trucks move more than 71 percent of the nation’s weight in freight. To put this in perspective, the trucking industry represented more than 79 percent of the nation’s freight bill in 2017 – that’s more than $700.1 billion in revenue.
In June 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation totaled carriers on file with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration totaled 777,240. Private carriers contributed 700,591 trucks while interstate motors totaled 80,247.
After an Accident:
Your safety is of the upmost importance – assess the situation and make sure you’re okay. Check to see if others involved in the accident are injured and proceed to call 911; if someone was injured, request an ambulance.
It’s important the police are notified of the accident so an official police report can be issued. Your insurance company will most likely ask for a copy later. Even if there is little to no damage, the police should be notified of the incident so an accident report can be filed.
Notify your insurance company that you’ve been in a truck collision. Others that were involved in the accident will have their insurance companies contact you. State the facts, but remember it’s important to say as less, as possible. It’s best to keep the conversation to a minimum whenever you are involved in an accident.
Contact one of our experienced truck accident attorney’s of Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd., for the help you need and seeking out the maximum recovery for our clients. There are many challenging factors in a truck accident case, and due to the statue of limitations, we will need to work on your case right away. Please call our office at (312) 384-1920 or visit our website for assistance.