Commercial truck accidents are often severe because they involve a huge, heavy truck. A semi or big rig truck can weigh more than ten times as much as a passenger vehicle—most passenger vehicles that are involved in a crash with a truck don’t stand a chance. As a result, those in passenger vehicles are far more likely to be injured compared to truck drivers.
Many commercial truck accidents are caused by the same factors over and over. As someone who is in a passenger vehicle, there may be little you can do to avoid these accidents. However, if you are aware of potential causes, you may be able to spot problems before they result in a crash.
The number one reason that commercial truck accidents occur is due to poor driver decision making. Truck truckers may drive too fast, misjudge the distance between vehicles, or follow other cars too closely, for example.
In addition to making poor decisions, a truck driver may also fail to recognize dangerous situations around him or her. Distraction is a serious concern for truck drivers, but there is a number of reasons that a driver may have failed to recognize a hazardous situation.
In a study done by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSA), they found that “non-performance” was the primary cause of roughly 12 of all commercial truck accidents examined in the study. Non-performance means that the driver was not capable of driving at the time of the crash. This could be due to falling asleep, a disabling health condition (seizure or heart attack, for example), or another reason that would physically inhibit a driver.
The FMCSA also found that another 9 of accidents were caused by performance issues. These accidents occurred when the driver over-corrected or over-compensated for an error, panicked, or used bad directional control of their vehicle.
Other Contributing Factors
While most truck accidents are caused by driver error, there are also a wide variety of different factors that may contribute to a crash. These factors may cause a situation where the driver has trouble reacting or responding. However, they are often not the sole cause of the collision. These other factors may include:
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Brake problems
- Loading errors
- Prescription or over-the-counter drug use
- Traveling too fast for the conditions
- Unfamiliar roadways or areas
- Road maintenance problems
- Traffic flow problems or interruptions (sudden stops, traffic, etc.)
The same factors that affect passenger vehicle drivers will influence truck accidents as well. The consequences are often merely more severe because trucks are larger and harder to control.
Getting Legal Help with Your Commercial Truck Accident
Dealing with severe injuries often associated with truck accidents can be very physically and emotionally draining. You shouldn’t have to deal with the legal aspects on your own. A Salt Lake City truck accident attorney can help. Contact the experienced professionals at Jardine Law Offices P.C. P.C. to discuss your legal options.