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5 Common Causes of Trucking Accidents

Due to their large size, commercial trucks can be extremely damaging in car accidents. Weighing in at roughly 80,000 pounds, semi trucks can be difficult to control, especially if something in the truck or on the road compromises the vehicle’s ability to travel safely. Truck accidents can be caused by any number of issues, but many of these causes stem from similar issues. If you were involved in a truck accident, consider some of the most common causes.

Truck accidents are often caused by the following:

Drowsy Driving

Truck drivers are often held to strict deadlines, sometimes forcing them to drive through the night. However, there are several trucking regulations created specifically to prevent drivers from overworking. These rules require drivers to take frequent breaks and to prohibit driving hours from exceeding a certain limit each day. Also, it requires trucking companies to provide their drivers with frequent, necessary rest breaks. However, trucking companies and drivers can ignore these rules to serve their own purposes. When drivers ignore their drowsiness, they endanger themselves and everyone else on the road.

Distracted Driving

As with drowsy driving, distracted driving can be extremely dangerous, and even deadly. Drivers can be distracted by their cell phones, navigation systems, food, cosmetics, or even by other passengers. Anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the road, even if their eyes remain forward, can be extremely distracting and may compromise the driver’s abilities. Although cell phone use while driving is prohibited in most states, some drivers continue to text and drive, or speak on their cell phones while behind the wheel. Despite the fact that truck drivers could lose their driver’s license, and their job, for cell phone use while driving, it continues to be a major cause of serious accidents.

Poor Vehicle Maintenance

All drivers should be vigilant about maintaining their vehicles, especially when those vehicles are semi-trucks, construction trucks, or other large vehicles. These big machines see a lot of drive time, which means they need more maintenance than most. Ultimately, it comes down to trucking company responsibility—truck companies are responsible for maintaining their vehicles and providing adequate mechanical repair and preventative maintenance. If a trucking company fails to perform these obligatory checks, they could put their drivers, and everyone else on the road, at risk. A poorly maintained truck might be more likely to break down or malfunction, which could easily lead to a crash.

Cargo or Trailer Issues

When it comes to big vehicles, maintaining the cargo and trailer is often as important as maintaining the engine. All cargo should be packed away securely and safely, otherwise it could slip, slide, or fall while the vehicle is in motion, endangering all of the vehicles behind the truck. Cargo could fall into the road, creating a major road hazard. Or, if the cargo becomes off balance, it could tilt the vehicle, causing the driver to lose control and crash. In any case, trucking companies and drivers are responsible for properly loading and unloading their rigs in a way that is safe. Or, if they hire loading companies, that organization is liable for any mistakes they make in the loading or unloading process.

Let Our Firm Help You

If you or someone you love was injured in a trucking accident, it’s important to identify the cause of the crash. When drivers, trucking companies, or other parties are liable for the accident, you may be eligible to seek compensation for the damage you suffered as a result. These types of incidents are often extremely devastating and can be costly, which is why it’s so important to act quickly and seek experienced legal support.

Contact Simeone & Miller, LLC. to discuss your truck accident case with our Washington DC personal injury lawyers.