If you get nervous when you find yourself surrounded by semi-trucks, you’re not alone. These big rigs are intimidating, and they can cause significant damage when they’re involved in an accident. And those who are involved in these wrecks are oftentimes dealt catastrophic injuries that impact every facet of their life.
The statistics aren’t very comforting, either. The National Safety Council found that nearly 5,000 of these trucks were involved in a fatal accident in 2020, which was a 33% increase from 2011. There were an additional 107,000 trucks that year that were involved in injurious accidents. So, each year, despite multiple public safety initiatives and aggressive trucking regulations, tens of thousands of people are either injured or killed in wrecks involving semi-trucks.
What causes these accidents? There are a lot of ways that a truck accident can occur. But there are some common trends when it comes to looking at the primary driving forces behind these wrecks. Here are the top causes of truck accidents:
In a recent study conducted, in part, by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, driver error was found to be the biggest contributor to truck accidents, accounting for 87% of errors. The main driving force here was poor decision-making, which includes driving too fast, following other vehicles too closely, and misjudging the speed and positioning of other vehicles.
Another main component of driver error is poor recognition. This can be caused by distraction or simple inattentiveness. This, in turn, increases reaction time, which can lead to a devastating wreck.
Other issues found to be leading contributors to truck accidents include poor performance, such as exercising poor directional control, overcompensation, physical impairment, and falling asleep behind the wheel.
Problems related to the truck that was involved in the accident was found to be the second leading cause of accidents, accounting for 10%. For example, brake and tire problems can cause a trucker to lose control of their vehicle, thereby putting innocent motorists like you at risk of harm. This is why conducting routine inspections and maintenance as required by federal regulations is key to motorist safety.
Although the environment can contribute to a truck accident, the study found that this only accounted for 3% of accidents. This includes issues such as poor road and weather conditions as well as hazards in the road.
Are you ready to find accountability?
As you can see, the vast majority of truck accidents are avoidable. Truckers and their employers simply need to follow traffic laws and abide by federal trucking regulations. When that doesn’t happen, though, you need to think about taking legal action so that you can obtain a sense of justice and recover the compensation you’re owed.
You don’t have to accept the fate that’s befallen you after a truck accident. Instead, you can stand up and fight to hold an errant trucker and their employer accountable for the harm that’s been caused to you.
But even when the evidence is clearly in your favor, there can be complications come up in your case. And even once you establish liability, you’ll still have to prove the extent of your damages if you want to recover the compensation that you deserve.
To ensure that you’re advocating for yourself as aggressively as possible, you might want to consider reaching out to a legal professional who knows how to competently navigate these cases.