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Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Large trucks such as tankers, tractor trailers, semis or 18-wheelers are considerably bigger than the passenger vehicles with which they share the road. On major highways and at higher speeds, even small driving errors can result in catastrophe when a large truck is involved. Some common errors for large trucks that cause accidents are:

Equipment Failure

Large trucks have many moving parts, with many different systems operating at the same time. If the equipment doesn’t work properly, it doesn’t matter how safe the truck driver is. If one of the parts of a truck breaks down or does not function properly, the result can be catastrophic.

Possible parties who may be liable for defective equipment include the manufacturer, the installer or mechanic who made repairs, the trucking company who refurbished the part, and the seller.

Driving Errors by Truck Drivers

Most truck drivers understand the risks they face on the highway and take precautions to drive safely. However, there are truck drivers who aren’t operating safely. Truck accidents are commonly caused by driver fatigue, failure to follow safety guidelines, failure to properly load the truck or secure cargo, overloading and using alcohol or drugs while driving.

There are many factors that contribute to the unsafe operation of large trucks. Improperly trained drivers may not realize that operating a commercial truck isn’t something you can learn just by doing; specialized training is required. By law, large truck drivers are required to have special licensing. But some aren’t receiving adequate training for defensive driving or  proper handling of safety concerns.

Sometimes even the best-trained drivers are put under economic pressure to violate safety regulations. In order to make ends meet, a truck driver paid by the mile may feel it necessary to drive for too many hours without adequate rest. This not only endangers the driver, but other drivers and passengers on the road.

Trucking Company Policies

Unrealistic schedules and expectations imposed by trucking companies may force drivers to rush, or drive too many hours on the road. Often, the crunch brought on by tight deadlines leads to improper loading, bad working conditions, fatigue, and excessive stress. This creates a dangerous situation which can lead to fatal consequences on the road.