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What Causes Most Trucking Accidents?

an overturned 18-wheeler

Trucking accidents can have many different causes. Some of these causes are within the driver's control, while others are not. The leading cause of trucking accidents is driver error. Other common causes include tire blowouts, brake failure, and passenger cars. Let's take a closer look at each of these causes.

Who or What Causes More Accidents?

Truck Driver Error

Driver error is the leading cause of trucking accidents where the truck is at-fault, at almost 87 percent, per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This is because there are many opportunities for negligence or improper operation when driving a truck. In the FMCSA's Large Truck Crash Causation Study, other driver-associated crash factors include:

  • Drug use
  • Excessive speeding
  • Unfamiliarity with the area
  • Driver fatigue

Additionally, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), truck drivers involved in fatal accidents were more likely to be previously involved in other trucking accidents.

Tire Blowouts

Tire blowouts are another common cause of trucking accidents. This is because the weight of a fully loaded truck puts a lot of pressure on the tires. If a tire is not properly inflated or (in many cases) if it has a defect, it could blow out while the truck is in motion. When this happens, the driver can likely lose control of the truck, resulting in a devastating accident.

Brake Failure

Brake failure is one of the most common vehicle-related problems that can cause a trucking accident. The FMCSA's study found that around 29 percent of accidents can be attributed to brake problems. Brakes are under a lot of stress when stopping a fully loaded truck and, if not properly maintained, could fail when the driver needs them most.

Most brake failures occur when the brakes are worn down or when there is something blocking the brake pads from making contact with the rotors.

Passenger Car Drivers

Outside the scope of truck drivers and the vehicles they operate being the cause of accidents, passenger cars are one of the most common culprits. A University of Michigan study showed that passenger cars contributed to nearly 70 percent of trucking accidents. Drivers of passenger cars were more likely to cross into a truck's lane, sideswipe a truck from both the oncoming lane and the same direction, and rear-end a truck. All of these accidents can be a result of the following:

  • Distracted driving
  • Not obeying the speed limit
  • Drunk driving
  • Limited visibility

How Witherington Injury Law Can Help

If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident, our attorneys at Witherington Injury Law can help. We understand that these types of accidents can have catastrophic effects, and we want to make sure you can recover the compensation you deserve.

If you were injured in a trucking accident, call Witherington Injury Law today at (615) 697-6503 or fill out our form online for a free consultation!

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