All vehicles have an inherent risk of danger purely due to their size and weight. Because of their substantially larger sizes and weights, trucks / tractor-trailers carry even greater risk. With 5.6 million tractor-trailers registered in the U.S. driving about 140 billion miles annually, truck accidents occur approximately 500,000 times per year. Truck accidents make up 10 percent of all traffic-related fatalities.
The average car weighs about 2.5 tons while the average commercial truck weighs approximately 40 tons. It is not surprising, therefore, that most fatalities resulting from standard vehicle versus commercial truck accidents are of occupants of the standard vehicles involved.
There is good news: Learning the most common causes of these accidents will help all drivers reduce their chances of being involved in, injured or even killed in such an accident. Here are some of the most common causes of truck accidents.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
1. Distracted Driving
Many truck accidents occur because of distracted driving. Truck drivers may become distracted because they become more and more comfortable behind the wheel. Therefore, they often think that they are able to multi-task (such as talking on the phone, texting, changing the radio/music, reading email, eating, etc.) while driving.
2. Drowsy Driving
One of the biggest worries with truck drivers is whether or not they get enough sleep. It can be really difficult to focus on anything and stay safe when you are sleep-deprived. That’s why most states have regulations dictating the maximum number of hours that they can be on the road without stopping to sleep. Truck accidents are often caused by truck drivers who fail to follow these rules.
3. Maintenance Neglect
It is extremely important that anyone who owns and/or drives commercial trucks keep the trucks’ maintenance schedules up-to-date. Neglect of required maintenance of these vehicles (including but not limited to ensuring the brakes or tires are in good repair) is also a common cause of truck accidents. Therefore, required maintenance should not be ignored to help reduce the risk of truck accidents.
4. Manufacturing Errors
Knowing the common causes of truck accidents can greatly help in reducing them. However, sometimes you cannot prevent accidents no matter what you do. Sometimes accidents are out of our control, such as those which occur due to manufacturing mistakes. When a truck manufacturer makes an error, such as installing faulty brakes, we have no way to adequately plan ahead.
5. Weather Conditions
For all vehicles, inclement weather is a common cause of crashes. When you add the fact that trucks are larger and often more difficult to control than ordinary vehicles, they are more likely to be affected by these conditions. Accidents are more likely to occur when a truck driver is speeding in snow, rain, fog, or the like. Therefore, it is important to stay away from truck drivers that you believe are speeding in such conditions.
The Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you should not have to pay for someone else’s mistakes.
The Michigan personal injury attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. can help you to fight for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!