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What Causes Truck Accidents?

The Top Charlotte Truck Accident Lawyer Reviews the 5 Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Due to their tremendous size and weight, commercial trucks present a high level of danger to passenger vehicles. With 18-wheeler trucks weighing up to 80,000 pounds and passenger vehicles weighing an average of 4,000 pounds, it is no wonder that occupants of passenger vehicles face a higher risk of serious injury or death in an accident. A variety of factors can lead to a vehicle accident, such as poor weather, driver fatigue, or equipment failure. In our latest article, an experienced Charlotte truck accident lawyer reviews the 5 most common causes of commercial truck accidents. 

1. Driving in Poor Weather

Bad Weather Can Throw Off Even the Most Experienced Commercial Truck Drivers

If a truck driver is not properly trained or if they underestimate the severity of the current weather conditions, they can put both themselves and other drivers around them at risk. During poor weather conditions, these drivers must practice extreme caution. They may even have to pull over to the side of the road if the dangerous weather conditions persist or grow worse. Failure to practice safe driving practices can result in severe injury or even death. 

Both commercial truck drivers and members of passenger vehicles should remain aware of the driving risks associated with different weather conditions, including: 

  • Rain — A heavy downpour can cause slippery road conditions. If a driver does not know how to properly brake without skidding or jackknifing, they pose a serious risk to the vehicles near them. 
  • Ice and Snow — Icy roads are also particularly difficult for truck drivers to navigate. Due to the weight of the truck, drivers can easily lose control of their vehicles when attempting to maneuver them 
  • Fog — Fog causes poor visibility, thereby increasing the chances of a commercial truck accidentally hitting another vehicle. 

2. Equipment Failure

Forgetting to Regularly Inspect Equipment or Properly Maintain a Truck Can Result in Equipment Failure

Commercial truck drivers clock in thousands of miles every day. As a result, their trucks go through quite a bit of wear and tear. In order to keep their vehicles safe and properly-functioning, drivers and their crews must maintain the truck on a regular basis. Operating a truck while it is in need of maintenance — such as a worn brake pedal or a broken windshield — could cause a catastrophic traffic accident. Because of the dangers that a malfunctioning truck can inflict, drivers are required to inspect their rig and submit a vehicle maintenance report at the beginning of each shift.  Equipment manufacturers could also be held responsible for an accident if investigators find a damaged or defective part in the truck. Parties that could be deemed liable include the equipment parts manufacturer, trucking company, and even any mechanics who  performed repairs on the vehicle. 

3. Engaging in Dangerous Driving Practices

Passenger Drivers Can Pose a Risk to Both Themselves and Nearby Vehicles

It is important to note that commercial truck drivers are not always at fault when an accident occurs. Passenger vehicles put themselves at a greater risk of causing an accident or sustaining serious injuries from an accident when engaging in unsafe driving practices. To protect yourself and the passengers of your vehicle, you should avoid:

  • Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
  • Cutting in front of another passenger vehicle or commercial truck 
  • Tailgating 
  • Driving in a truck’s blind spot
  • Driving while drowsy or extremely fatigued 
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving from texting or attempting to multi-task

4. Truck Driver Fatigue

Driving While Drowsy Can Have Devastating Consequences 

Driving while fatigued is a major problem among commercial truck drivers. In fact, the CDC found that commercial drivers were more likely to suffer from drowsiness than regular drivers who are able to follow a regular work and sleep schedule. Truck driver fatigue can be caused by a variety of factors including a lack of sleep, attempting to drive while sick, or exhaustion from working too many hours.  

5. Overloaded Cargo

Improper or Overloaded Cargo Can Fall Off a Truck, Causing a Catastrophic Accident

Because of the sheer weight and size of the loads that commercial trucks carry, drivers must abide by specific industry standards when loading the bed of their truck. Each load must pass various weight, size, length, width, and height requirements before being approved for transportation. Companies must employ special methods for securing their cargo. Any mistakes or negligence that occurs during the procedure could cause the load to fall into the road and cause a severe accident. 

If you were involved in a commercial vehicle accident and need to speak with an experienced Charlotte truck accident lawyer, contact the Law Offices of William K. Goldfarb to schedule a free consultation. For over 30 years, the legal team at the Law Offices of William K. Goldfarb has successfully helped various clients who suffered from personal injury and damages as a result of commercial truck accidents.

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