Traffic crashes involving large trucks are usually devastating for the drivers and occupants of other vehicles. Understanding truck accident causes may reduce the risk of some accidents, but not all accidents. Thousands of people are killed and injured in large truck accidents each year in the United States.
Large trucks, also known as big rigs, 18-wheelers, commercial trucks, tractor-trailers, and semi-trucks, are extremely large, heavy vehicles compared to the average passenger vehicle. A passenger vehicle simply cannot withstand the violent impact of a truck in the same way the truck can protect the truck driver from harm in a collision. Therefore, many truck drivers walk away from accidents that severely injure or kill the occupants of other vehicles involved in the crash. Truck accident causes vary, but determining the exact cause is important if you want to recover compensation for your injuries.
Common Truck Accident Causes
Below are five of the most common truck accident causes in Indiana and throughout the United States:
Truck Accident Cause Number 1: Truck Driver Error
In many cases, truck driver error caused or contributed to the cause of the truck accident. Some truck drivers make mistakes because they are inexperienced, but other drivers do things that are simply negligent and dangerous. Examples of truck driver error include:
- Drunk driving or drugged driving
- Driving while fatigued or drowsy
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Driving while distracted, including texting while driving
- Inexperienced or unqualified truck drivers
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Failing to check blind spots
- Attempting a dangerous turn or maneuver
- Exceeding the legal number of safe driving hours for truck drivers
If the truck driver is to blame, you can file a claim against the driver. However, you may also have a claim against the trucking company.
Truck Accident Cause Number 2: Failing to Maintain Trucks
Trucking companies and truck drivers have a duty to maintain trucks in good operating order to reduce the risk of an accident. This duty includes regularly scheduled maintenance and inspections. Companies and drivers should immediately replace worn parts, including brakes, tires, lights, and windshield wipers that could lead to an accident. If a truck is poorly maintained or broken, the company and driver could be held liable for damages caused by a truck accident.
Truck Accident Cause Number 3: Improperly Loaded Cargo
Companies that load cargo onto trucks also have a duty to secure those loads in a manner that does not increase a wreck. Improperly loaded cargo can cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle or cause the trailer to overturn. Shifting cargo can be very dangerous, especially on roads with curves or steep hills. Truck beds that are open pose a danger of cargo falling off the truck if the cargo is not secured properly.
Truck Accident Cause Number 4: Defective Parts
In some cases, a defective truck part could contribute to a truck accident. For instance, if the brakes are faulty or a tire is defective, the driver may not be able to avoid a collision. Parts manufacturers and truck manufacturers could be held liable under product liability laws if a defective part causes a crash.
Truck Accident Cause Number 5: Dangerous Road Conditions
Dangerous road conditions, such as potholes, broken roads, missing dividers, and defectively designed roads can contribute to a truck crash. Debris from road construction and inadequate signage can also be factors in a crash. If a dangerous road condition contributed to the truck accident, a government entity or contractor could be named as a party to the truck accident lawsuit.
Call for Help to Determine the Cause of Your Indiana Truck Accident
It is extremely important that the cause of the truck accident is determined so that all liable parties can be named in the claim. By naming all parties, you increase your chance of recovering full compensation for injuries. In addition, it is imperative that a truck accident attorney begins a truck accident investigation quickly to prevent key evidence from being destroyed or lost.
The Indianapolis truck accident attorneys of The Ken Nunn Law Office have experience handling complex commercial trucking accidents. Call 1-800-CALL-KEN or 1-800-225-5536 for a free legal consultation.