Causes of Truck Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 37,461 people were killed on U.S. roads in 2016. Many of these accidents involved commercial trucks which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and are much larger than passenger vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that the number of truck accidents increased by 20 percent between 2009 and 2015.

Many circumstances can lead to a truck accident including external factors out of the driver’s control, however driver error remains the most common cause of truck accidents. The skilled truck accident lawyers at Eckell Sparks can help you determine the cause of your accident and pursue compensation for your injuries. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents that our experienced attorneys have handled are:

Defective Trucks: There are certain industry standards governing commercial trucks. Trucking companies, drivers, manufacturers, designers, suppliers, assemblers, wholesalers and retailers may all be legally responsible for injuries caused by defects. Low quality materials, incorrect tire pressure and traction, and inadequate safety warnings or usage instructions are all defects that may lead to a truck accident.

Distracted Driving: When a driver’s attention is taken away from driving by things such as talking on the phone, texting, and eating, they are distracted. The NHTSA reports that in 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents.

Drowsy Driving: The NHTSA estimates that at least 100,000 reported crashes each year are the result of driver fatigue, causing an estimated 1,500 deaths and 40,000 injuries. Truck drivers are at an increased risk of drowsy driving due to their demanding driving schedules. According to an American Automobile Association (AAA) study, drowsy driving can be just as dangerous, if not more, than drunk driving.

Failure to Maintain Truck: Failure to maintain parts of the truck such as tires, steering, brakes, transmission, and lighting can lead to a catastrophic truck accident. Despite industry regulations and standards, trucking companies sometimes fail to properly maintain their vehicles.

Failure to Abide by Regulations: Motor carriers must comply with FMCSA federal regulations and must be able to provide proof of compliance upon request. Some trucking companies do not abide by such regulations and can therefore be held liable for injuries caused in a resulting truck accident.

Negligent Hiring/Training: Employers have a duty not to hire individuals that pose a risk to the public. Trucking companies that do not properly screen drivers for drug use may be liable for injuries caused by that driver in a truck accident.

Poor Road Conditions: Poor road conditions can often cause, or contribute to, truck accidents. Cracks, potholes, blocked signs, faded sign markings, inadequate guardrails and lack of rumble strips are a few examples of road conditions that may cause a truck driver to have an accident. Government agencies that have a duty to design, build and maintain safe roads may be liable for truck accidents caused by hazardous road conditions they created or failed to rectify.

Unsecured/Overloaded Cargo: Unsecured/overloaded cargo is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. Unsecured cargo may fall off the truck and strike another vehicle. Unbalanced and overloaded cargo may shift, increasing the driver’s risk of losing control of the vehicle and causing a rollover accident.

Vehicle Equipment Failure: Equipment failure may occur because of a manufacturer’s defect or improper repair. Worn tires and defective lighting are common examples of vehicle equipment failures that often lead to truck accidents.

Media Truck Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Hold Responsible Parties Accountable in Trucking Accidents

If you were injured in a truck accident, contact the experienced Media truck accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. We will fight to determine the cause of the accident, hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence, and get you the appropriate compensation for your injuries. Our offices are located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, and we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County. Call us today at 610-565-3710 or contact us online.