Trucking Accidents – Top Causes

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Trucking accidents happen at a much higher rate than we tend to believe. There are hundreds of thousands happening each ear just in the US. As a driver on the road, it is important to be aware of what could go wrong when trucks are around you. According to a highly experienced trucking accident attorney, protecting yourself is something to do on the road. To help you exactly with that, here are the top causes of trucking accidents you have to know. 

Driver Error

This is by far the most common cause to highlight, according to research done by the FMCSA. After analyzing hundreds of thousands of truck crashes, the federal authority noticed 4 driver error-related factors that contributed to almost half of all accidents. They were:

  • Truck driver performance problems – For instance, the truck driver fell asleep, was impaired, or suffered a medical problem. 
  • Recognition – The truck driver was distracted. 
  • Decision – The truck driver did not adapt for road conditions or made errors like misjudging speed. 
  • Performance – This includes situations like the truck driver panicking. 

Truck Driver Training

Driver training is very important and unfortunately, there are not many programs that focus on this right now. In the following 30 years, it is expected that trucks are going to transport 40% more freight than now. Such increased volume will surely put extra stress on the truck companies as they need to hire less experienced truck drivers. 

Minimum training requirements are constantly examined by the FMCSA but the smart trucking companies do not rely on them. They need to also take into account the state of the industry and proactively change their training practices. 

Equipment Failure

Mechanical breakdowns can easily lead to catastrophic truck accidents. In around 55% of the accidents that did involve injuries, trucks had some sort of mechanical failure. Also, 30% of the trucks analyzed in accidents had at least 1 equipment issue. The most common equipment failure types that have to be highlighted are:

  • Worn tires
  • Improperly inflated tires
  • Poorly maintained brakes
  • Faulty brakes
  • Missing safety equipment
  • Unbalanced cargo
  • Overall maintenance procedures
  • Defects with parts
  • Transmission failure

The official recommendation of the FMCSA is that every single truck driver and the truck company have to conduct a pre-trip inspection. If this is not done properly, the negligence is clear. 

Truck Company Priorities

This is a very important thing to know about trucking companies. In so many cases, they have to deal with very strict deadlines from their clients. This often creates dangerous situations, like unrealistic schedules, high driver fatigue, stress, and improper loading. All of these situations increase the possibility that a truck accident will happen. 

It is important to know that vehicle crashes actually cost the employers over $60 billion every year. This covers legal expenses, lost productivity, property damage, and medical care. For the employer, the average cost of a truck crash is close to $17,000. If the accident leads to an injury, the average cost goes up to an average of $75,000. You can only imagine how much accidents with fatalities cost.