Understanding the Causes of Truck Accidents
When you are involved in an truck accident, one of the first questions you likely have is “how did this happen?” Figuring out what caused your accident can help you build a strong personal injury case and receive compensation from your insurance company. Our team at The Tawwater Law Firm has been representing clients in the Oklahoma area for over 36 years and has helped many collect large settlements from other drivers and trucking companies. We are familiar with the common causes of truck accidents and can investigate your accident to discover what led up to the crash. If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident, contact our firm online or call (405) 607-1400 to schedule a free case evaluation today.
The Risks Associated with Large Trucks
Large trucks deal with a variety of issues that do not affect smaller vehicles. Long stopping distances, unwieldy turn radiuses, and substantial blind spots make trucks more difficult to navigate. While most truck operators are careful and patient drivers, they are faced with challenges on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, drivers of passenger vehicles do not always consider these challenges when steering around large trucks, putting themselves and the truck driver at risk. A variety of factors can come into play during a truck accident, including the actions of both truck and passenger vehicle drivers, weather and road conditions, and issues with the truck itself.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted an extensive study into the causes of truck accidents. Common causes of accidents were broken down into driver performance, issues with the vehicle, and environmental conditions. In many cases, decisions on the part of the trucking company also contribute to an accident.
In over 80 percent of crashes analyzed, driver performance was a critical reason for the crash. Negligence behind the wheel can occur on the part of the truck driver or other vehicles on the road. Common dangerous behaviors include:
- Inattentive driving
- Following another vehicle too closely
- Changing lanes improperly
- Use of drugs or alcohol
- Fatigued or drowsy driving
- Driving in truck “no-zones”
- Unsafe passing
All vehicles on the road are required to act with caution and follow the basic rules of road safety. If your accident was caused by the actions of another driver, our truck accident attorneys can help you collect compensation for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle.
Issues with the Vehicle
Truck drivers and their parent companies are required to perform proper maintenance to ensure the trucks are in good working condition. Many types of mechanical and loading issues can contribute to a truck accident, such as:
- Defective brakes
- Improper loading
- Bad tires
- Improper maintenance
A large truck blowing a tire on the freeway can cause a massive accident, and so can cargo shifting suddenly on a turn. Our team can determine whether to hold the manufacturer of a certain automobile part responsible or seek compensation from the trucking company or driver for failing to maintain the safety of the vehicle.
We have connections with experts in accident recreation who can investigate the root cause of your accident and seek compensation from the right source.
Weather and Road Conditions
When environmental conditions change, accidents can occur. Rain, ice, or poorly maintained roads require more carefully driving. The type of environmental condition which caused your accident can affect who we can hold responsible. We have connections with experts in accident recreation who can investigate the root cause of your accident and help us seek compensation from the right source.
Negligent Behavior by the Trucking Company
The trucking industry is subject to various rules and regulations intended to promote the safety of truck drivers and other vehicles on the road. Unfortunately, companies often ignore these regulations to improve their bottom line. Certain behaviors on the part of the trucking company can lead to accidents, including:
- Failure to provide adequate training
- Unrealistic schedules, which encourage drivers to hurry despite the risks
- Compensation systems that promote faster vehicle speeds
- Refusal to provide sufficient breaks for drivers to rest
When drivers hurry to meet schedules and ignore safety concerns, serious or even fatal accidents can result. We can help you hold the trucking company responsible for improper actions and secure compensation.