What You Need to Know About the 5 Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Posted in Truck Accidents on November 27, 2019
A fully loaded semi-truck is typically more than 70 feet long and can weigh more than 80,000 pounds. One can only imagine the impact the size of these massive machines has when involved in collisions that lead to disastrous injuries as well as fatalities.
In fact, according to crash statistics reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Texas had the highest number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2017, accounting for 621 out of 5,266 total vehicles involved in fatal crashes.
With traffic incidents between commercial trucks and much smaller passenger vehicles happening at a startling rate, dedicated and experienced McAllen truck accident attorneys like the one at the De La Garza Law Firm are required to investigate the causes in order to determine who should be held accountable for the victims’ losses.
1. Failure to Properly Maintain Equipment/Vehicles
One of the leading causes of truck accidents revolves around improper or incomplete maintenance of engines, tires, braking systems, and other components. Many trucking companies require that truck drivers conduct routine maintenance procedures before heading out on their next haul, but sometimes, these entities fail to enforce them.
Whether old brakes weren’t replaced, worn down tires caused a blow-out, or transmission systems failed as a result of inattentiveness, trucking firms that don’t abide by the federal laws that enforce maintaining their truck fleets can be held responsible if there is an accident.
2. Overloading the Trailer with Cargo
Another primary cause of trucking accidents stems from improper loading. If cargo weight exceeds the gross vehicle weight rating or happens to be poorly distributed throughout the trailer, an accident is bound to happen.
A trailer that has too much weight or weight distributed incorrectly can put a lot of strain on the vehicle’s axles. As these critical parts of the truck become compromised, truck drivers could lose control, giving a greater probability of a catastrophic collision. Based on whoever loaded the trailer, the trucking firm, loading contractor, or the shipper could hold liability for a victim’s injury.
3. Lack of Driver Training
Insufficient driver training also poses a significant threat, especially since trucking companies are experiencing a trucker shortage. Trucking companies often expedite newcomer drivers through trucking training courses, fast-laning them out on the road not long after the course is over.
The fresh hires do not make as much per mile compared to their more experienced counterparts, and they may lack the experience necessary to safely maneuver large commercial trucks in poor road or weather conditions.
4. Truck Driver Fatigue
The shifts that truck drivers handle are long, with strict delivery deadlines and compensation based on the mileage accomplished. This often pushes truck drivers to their limits, operating large trucks for long durations with little sleep.
The encouragement of overworking persistent schedules can leave truck drivers of any experience level feeling drained, putting themselves and all other vehicles in a vulnerable position of grave danger. This goes against federal laws that regulate hourly driving limits and requirements for truck drivers, providing them breaks periodically.
5. Manufacturer Defects
Sometimes accidents have less to do with the driver and more to do with the manufacturing or design processes of the truck itself. Detecting defective parts still falls within the realm of responsibility of a trucking company employee (e.g. inspectors, truck drivers, officers, or agents) during the maintenance and inspection processes, but the manufacturer also takes responsibility for the defective part as well.
If the trucking company did all that it could to ensure that the large truck was in working order but a defective product caused an accident, it takes a skilled truck accident attorney to find out where in the distribution chain (i.e. the manufacturer, carrier, distributor, retailer, or marketer) the defect occurred in order to recover the compensation entitled to you.
An Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Looking Out For You
De La Garza Law Group is dedicated to fighting for you if you’ve been the victim of someone else’s negligence. We’ll help you earn full compensation no matter how complex your specific truck accident claim may be, so you can have the means to recover.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of an accident caused by a negligent truck driver, let Rafael De La Garza, an experienced personal injury lawyer in McAllen, advise you about your rights and help you seek you the full compensation you deserve.