Kansas City Townsend Law Firm

Causes of Semi Truck Accidents

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2018 | Truck Accident

All drivers on the road want to make it to their destinations safely. The issue that can sometimes come up is that your safety partially depends on others who are also driving. If you are on the interstate or city streets where semi trucks travel, you need to know some of the common safety concerns that these large vehicles face. This knowledge can help if you do end up in a crash with one.

We all want to make it to our destinations safely, and practice safe driving as often as possible to ensure that we and our loved ones make it to our destination. However, our actions are not the only actions that we have to consider on the road. Vehicle accidents happen every day, some with severe injuries. Distracted driving, long hours on the road, tire blowouts and more can all result in serious injuries or even fatal crashes.

Some of the worst of these are semi-truck accidents, especially when it involves a small passenger car. Big rigs are the monsters of motor vehicles on the road, and motorists all need to pay attention to these large trucks, their blind spots, and what they’re doing when traveling on the road.

There are a number of common causes of truck accidents. Some are relevant before the trucker ever gets behind the wheel of the rig, that the truck driver may not even be aware of. Others are external issues that indirectly impact the trucker but make safety a challenge.

The trucking industry has had mandates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) , which has many safety directives for trucking companies and their truck drivers to follow when operating their commercial vehicles, how they maintain their commercial truck and tractor trailer, how they should interact with passenger vehicles on the road, and have rules in place to avoid a trucker driving too many long hours or having driver error such as distracted driving, that can lead to a car accident.

Factors Before the Haul

Before a trucker even hooks up for a load, there are things that can go wrong. If the trailer isn’t loaded properly and the cargo isn’t secured appropriately, there is the chance for a crash, or to jackknife under hard braking (jackknifing can even lead to a rollover, which is especially dangerous if the tractor trailer is hauling hazardous materials). The maintenance and upkeep for the truck and the trailer are also factors that lead to a wreck, if the tire pressure is not correctly set and it leads to a tire blowout, or the brakes locking up and causing a rear-end trucking accident. Any components that aren’t installed correctly can lead to trouble. The same is true if there are defective components that aren’t performing safely. It is the responsibility of the truck company and commercial truck drivers to keep their big rigs up to spec and to

Trucker Actions During the Haul

Once the trucker begins the haul, they need to drive safely. The truck driver must be well rested and ready to drive. Factors like distracted driving, fatigue and impairment from long hours and more can negatively impact the safety of everyone on the road and cause driver error. These can often sneak up on a trucker because they might feel like they are driving safely, but are actually suffering from highway hypnosis, which can cause them to lose focus on where the truck is going, if they’re following the speed limit, or checking their blond spots – all of these can lead to serious semi-truck accidents.

All drivers should be prepared to react appropriately when they are on the road. This means knowing the traffic laws and following them. Speeding, failing to signal, and not obeying traffic signs and signals can all lead to wrecks.

External Factors That Impact Safety

Many of the things that can lead to crashes with large trucks are external. These include things like the trucker having to rush because they are on such a tight deadline or having to push through fatigue and long hours because they still have allowable driving hours remaining. Pushing their tractor trailers too hard can lead to tire blowouts, jackknifing, rear-ending, rollovers and more. Trucking companies might be responsible for some of these factors, however the truck driver is the one actually behind the wheel of these large trucks. Even other drivers on the road can lead to a wreck if they aren’t respecting the space a trucker needs to maneuver properly, which can all lead to serious injury crashes between big rigs and smaller vehicles or passenger vehicles.

Victims of semi truck crashes may opt to seek compensation for the wreck. Determining the cause of the wreck can help them to figure out whom to hold liable.

Do You Need Legal Help Following a Semi Truck Accident?

If you or a loved one have been in a semi-truck accident then please seek legal advice immediately from a qualified professional law firm.

The personal injury lawyers at Townsend Law have been fighting for clients’ rights for years throughout the Kansas City metro. You can schedule a free consultation with a truck accident attorney to review your semi-truck accident case, and offer legal advice on how to proceed.
We can help work with your own insurance company and the insurance company of the trucking company. We are experienced truck accident lawyers and can help today. Call now for your free case evaluation.