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10 Common Causes of Truck Accidents

10 Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Given their size and speed, commercial trucks are typically involved in the most devastating crashes on the road. Truck accidents tend to result in life-altering or even fatal injuries for those individuals who are hit by an 18-wheeler. Many truck accidents take place on the highway, although some accidents do occur on local roads at a truck’s starting or end destination. Other motorists need to familiarize themselves with the common causes of truck accidents so that they know what to look out for when on the road. 

Speeding

Many truck drivers decide to speed either because traffic is light and the driver feels like they can get away with driving faster, or because the driver is under pressure to meet tight delivery deadlines. However, large commercial trucks don’t maneuver like smaller passenger vehicles and take longer distances to slow down and come to a stop when traveling at excessive speeds, which increases the risk of a collision. 

Distracted Driving

Truck drivers can also become easily distracted during long days on the road. In addition to needing to navigate or get on the dispatch radio, truck drivers may choose to get on their cell phone, become engrossed in a podcast, radio show, or audiobook, or even simply allow their minds to wander. Truck drivers also often engage in other distracted driving behaviors like eating or drinking or reaching around the cab for an object. 

Aggressive/Reckless Driving

Due to the stress of needing to make delivery deadlines, truck drivers may fall into aggressive or reckless driving behaviors, such as road rage, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, or cutting off other motorists. 

Drowsy/Fatigued Driving

Truck drivers are subject to government regulations that limit the hours drivers may spend on duty and behind the wheel. These regulations are designed to help drivers avoid becoming drowsy or fatigued while driving. Some drivers intentionally or inadvertently exceed these limits to meet their delivery schedules. But even for drivers who follow the hours of service limits, drowsiness or fatigue is still a real risk due to the long hours required of truck drivers. 

Bad Weather

Adverse weather can impact a truck driver’s ability to control their vehicle on the road, increasing the chances of a collision. 

Road Conditions

Poor road conditions, such as broken pavement, potholes, debris on the road, or black ice can also cause a truck driver to lose control of their vehicle. Other conditions like road construction can also be difficult for large commercial trucks to navigate. 

Unsafe Cargo

Truck drivers are required to ensure that their truck or trailer is not loaded beyond the maximum hauling capacity, and that cargo is balanced (with heavy objects loaded towards the bottom and evenly distributed) and secured from shifting during travel. Overloading a truck with cargo or having an unbalanced or unsecured cargo load may cause a truck driver to lose control of their vehicle. 

Brake/Vehicle Failure

Some truck accidents are not caused by truck driver error but rather due to mechanical failures in the truck. Brake or other truck parts can fail due to design or manufacturing defects, or due to a lack of vehicle maintenance or poorly-performed maintenance. 

Alcohol/Drug Intoxication

Truck drivers are subject to a legal BAC limit half that of ordinary drivers. Unfortunately, some truck drivers turn to alcohol or drugs to help them cope with the stresses of their job, including using stimulants to try to avoid becoming drowsy or fatigued. However, alcohol or drug use can severely impair a truck driver’s ability to safely control their vehicle. 

Poor Visibility

Finally, truck accidents may be caused due to poor visibility on the road, either due to adverse weather or when truck drivers operate at night on poorly lit roads and highways. 

Contact a Rochelle Park Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Truck Accident Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a truck accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at The Epstein Law Firm represent clients injured because of truck accidents in Jersey City, Union City, Bayonne, Hoboken, and throughout New Jersey. Call (201) 380-7687 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 340 West Passaic St., Rochelle Park, NJ 07762.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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