Reasons Commonly Cited as Causes of Truck Accidents

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates that 500,000 Americans will be in a trucking accident each year. In recent years, this number appears to also be on the rise, including a noticeable increase in serious injuries or deaths caused by big rig accidents. Before the problem can be addressed and corrected, the causes of these devastating accidents must be better understood.

Five of the most common causes of truck accidents, in no particular order, are:

  1. Exhaustion: Truck drivers are expected to complete shifts average 14 hours a day, 70 days a week. Each day shift also includes around 11 hours of time spent behind the wheel. Truckers that become tired will lose reaction time or could fall asleep, almost-guaranteeing they will cause an accident.
  2. Speeding: Many commercial trucks are not permitted to go faster than 55, 60, or 65 miles per hour – depending on the area or the type of truck – while traveling down the highway. Stricter speed limits were created since trucks are much heavier than other vehicles and therefore require much more space to stop, even at low speeds. A truck driver desperate to meet a schedule or complete a day’s work may speed illegally, endangering everyone on the highway.
  3. Mechanical failure: The average big rig needs routine maintenance to be in top and safe operating condition. Mechanical failure, including tire blowouts and broken brakes, will cause even a veteran truck driver to lose control of the vehicle.
  4. Blind spots: A large tractor trailer has numerous and large blind spots. Although motorists are instructed not to stay within a truck’s blind spots, the responsibility to change lanes, merge, or turn safely still lies on the truck driver. Acting careless and giving drivers no time to escape a truck’s blind spot can put liability fully on the trucker.
  5. Load shift: Cumbersome freight in the trailer of a big rig can shift around during transit, especially when it is not secured properly at the journey’s beginning. If the cargo shifts weight abruptly, it can wrest control of the truck from the driver, or even tip the entire thing onto its side.

If you were in a trucking accident, one or more of the aforementioned causes could be relevant to your case. Our San Francisco truck accident lawyers at Scarlett Law Group can hear your claim and help you determine if liability for your damages should lie on someone else’s shoulders, such as the truck driver, big rig owner, or trucking company. Contact our law office today to request a free initial consultation.


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