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Five common causes of truck accidents

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Truck Accident

New Jersey is home to some of the busiest and heaviest traveled roads and highways in the country. Large trucks make up a large part of the state’s roads and an accident with a truck can result in serious injuries.

There are some common factors involved in many truck accidents. Knowing these factors can help you watch for signs of danger when driving around large trucks and what to look for if you are involved in a truck accident.

Driver error

Driver error is one of the top causes of truck accidents. Driver error takes many forms. Distracted driving, aggressive driving and speeding are types of driver errors that lead to catastrophic accidents.

Inexperience and lack of proper training can also lead to truck drivers making avoidable errors. If more emphasis was placed on training truck drivers before sending them out on the road it would likely reduce the number of serious or fatal truck accidents.

No matter how safely a trucker is driving, an equipment failure can quickly result in a serious accident. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, trucks had at least one mechanical failure in 55% of truck accidents involving injuries.

Additionally, 30% of trucks had at least one condition so serious the truck had to be taken out of service. There are several different common types of equipment failure including poorly maintained brakes, unbalanced cargo, worn tires or missing or defective safety features, such as turn signals.

Substance abuse

Intoxicated driving and substance abuse by truck drivers is unfortunately involved in a high number of truck accidents. Truck drivers work long hours and are often extremely fatigued. The hours on the road can lead to boredom.

Both can cause truck drivers to use drugs to stay awake. When they start driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, they increase the chance of causing an accident.

Intoxicated truck drivers are a danger to every other driver on the road. They often experience delayed reaction time, impaired judgment and slower reflexes, all while operating a large vehicle at a high rate of speed.

Sometimes the cause of the accident is due to the trucking company rather than the truck driver. The focus of trucking companies is usually meeting deadlines, which are sometimes unrealistic.

This could mean imposing punishing schedules on truck drivers, improperly loading trucks or failing to perform regular maintenance checks on the vehicles.

Federal regulations require that trucks undergo a pre-trip inspection and regular inspections throughout the year, but these inspections are not always performed. Trucking companies could likely prevent many crashes through a renewed commitment to driver safety.

Knowing how to prove negligence

All these factors involve negligence on the part of the truck driver or trucking company. Establishing negligence is what enables you to collect compensation after a truck accident.

Part of proving negligence is showing that the driver’s actions caused the accident. If one of these factors was involved in your accident, this could help with proving negligence.

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