Most common causes of truck crashes

Truck drivers spend much more time on the road than most motorists. Therefore, they are more at risk of human error, which is the first cause of traffic accidents, no matter the vehicle type.

1Drowsy driving and fatigue

Trucking companies aim for profitability and cost-effectiveness. Their drivers are under pressure, often traveling long distances with short breaks. Sometimes, the delivery destination is days away and may require truck drivers to cut on their mandatory sleep time

Drowsy driving is the same as drunk driving.

It impairs concentration, eye-hand coordination, decision-making, and reaction time. Furthermore, as truck drivers use long and monotonous highways, they are at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel.

2Distracted driving

As they spend more time on the road than other regular automobilists, truck drivers may get bored and look at their phone, fiddle with the GPS or the stereo, etc.

3142 Americans died in the US in 2019 as a result of distracted driving. It’s the first cause of accidents in Tennessee. The most common error is cellphone usage, especially texting.

Any other distraction presents a risk: looking at something else than the road/rubbernecking, auditory distractions, manual tasks, etc.

Distracted Truck Driver Causes Accident

3Alcohol and drugs

In a study conducted by the American Addiction Centers, 50% of the interrogated truck drivers admitted to drinking alcohol while driving, 30% to amphetamine use, 20% to marijuana, and 3% to cocaïne. Whether stimulants or depressants, all of those substances highly impair the ability to drive. They also lead to reckless driving.

4Reckless driving

Tennessee law considers reckless driving as willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.

It can be speeding if the truck driver is late on the delivery time, unsafe lane changes and failure to yield, aggressive driving, and road rage.

5Inadequate training and inexperience

Commercial trucks like 18-wheelers are big and heavy. Handling those rigs requires proper training and experience. Regulations clearly define the training requirements of any aspiring truck driver. Unfortunately, some drivers hit the road without meeting those requirements.

Besides, poor road conditions and weather conditions like wind, rain, and snow require more experience to prevent skidding, hydroplaning, or jackknifing.

6Trucking company’s and other parties’ negligence

The trucking company is required to inspect each truck before it gets on the road. Maintenance costs and lack of time may cause companies to overlook those steps. Unsafe trucks may end up on the road.

If a truck is poorly maintained or has defective parts, several parties could be liable:

  • The trucking company.
  • The truck broker.
  • The truck manufacturer.
  • The part manufacturer.
  • The company responsible for repairs and maintenance.

Determining fault is complex. It requires the expertise of an experienced truck accident attorney.

7Improper cargo loading

There are strong regulations about truck loading with specific limits for weight, size, length, width, and height. However, loading mistakes happen. Cargo may be too heavy and break an axle, or too high to pass under a bridge, etc. If a load falls onto the road, it may cause disastrous crashes.

Also, some trucks carry hazardous materials falling under even stricter requirements. Those materials (oil, chemicals, etc.) might catch on fire or cause any dangerous situation.

8Trucks’ structural hazards

Some structural factors make trucks more at risk of accidents than other types of vehicles:

  • Due to their massive weight, they have poor braking ability.
  • Due to their size, they have large blind spots and operate wide turns.

9Poor road conditions

Potholes, gravel, missing/broken signage, missing/insufficient reflectors and paint lines, missing/defective guardrails, deadly curves, narrow bridges, construction sites, etc. All of those may cause a truck crash.

10Poor environmental conditions

Animal crossings, rain, ice, snow, fog, or night: those conditions are out of anyone’s control. They may cause the accident itself or aggravate it.

Possible Truck accident compensation & damages

Did a negligent truck driver injure you? We will obtain the compensation you deserve for:

1Medical bills, present, and future

The car insurance company of the person who injured you will not pay your medical bills as they go. It will only pay you, the claimant, if and when there is a settlement. It can take months while your unpaid bills stack up.

Also, you may need more treatments over time, like vocational rehabilitation. More care means more bills.

2Lost wages & loss of earning capacity (LOEC)

If you cannot work because you are injured, you cannot get paid. Those are lost wages.

If your injuries prevent you from doing the work you used to do before your accident, whether partially or at all, you lose earning capacity. The LOEC can be calculated and compensated.

Permanent disability from a truck accident

3Physical disabilities

Three types of disabilities can result from car accidents, from most benign to most severe:

  • Temporary: Injuries impairing you for a short amount of time but from which you will fully recover. Examples: broken bones, minor whiplash, etc.
  • Permanent and partial: Injuries restricting your personal life and your work, but moderately. For instance: partial loss of sight, chronic back pain, etc.
  • Permanent and total: Those severe injuries are unfortunately very more common in truck crashes. They prevent you from doing any work type. Examples: traumatic brain injuries, amputations, paralysis due to spine injuries, etc.

4Emotional trauma & mental distress

Truck accidents are traumatic events. They may leave you with emotional scarring that may interfere with your daily life. It can be irritability, mood swings, sleep issues, etc.

Car crashes can also lead to actual psychiatric disorders

The most common are PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), general anxiety disorder, phobic travel anxiety, and major depressive disorder.

5Lost relationships and consortium

Truck accidents change their victims, both physically and mentally. Your partner may not be able to deal with your injuries and their consequences: amputation, disfigurement, mental changes, inability to provide, etc.

On the other hand, a truck driver may have injured a loved one. If they cannot provide you with the same love, affection, or companionship, you may file a loss of consortium claim.

6Pain and suffering

In law, pain and suffering englobe all the stress you went through because of your accident. It’s the sum of your injuries and all their consequences: chronic pains, disabilities, mental issues, loss of relationships and lifestyle, etc.