Accidents involving large trucks are particularly dangerous, due to the size and weight of the vehicles. Truck accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, but the vast majority of accidents occur due to one of five factors. These factors include driver error, poor vehicle maintenance, equipment failure, improperly loaded cargo, and flying or falling debris.
Driver error is a broad topic, which manifests itself in many different ways. Driver error encompasses speeding, failure to signal when changing lanes, failure to properly manage blind spots, and taking turns too wide or too tight. Fatigue or use of illegal drugs can play a role in driver error, though often as not the only factor in these accidents is the truck operator not paying proper attention to their surroundings and traffic.
Poor vehicle maintenance occurs when a truck does not receive the tune-ups and other work necessary to keep it functioning properly. This can affect a truck’s ability to accelerate, brake, or turn properly. Poor vehicle maintenance is often a symptom of cutting corners to maximize profit.
Equipment failure is rarely the fault of the operator of the vehicle. Equipment failure can include blown pistons, brake failure, blown tires, or many other incidents that can happen on the open road. Equipment failure can be caused by poor vehicle maintenance, but it can also be caused by faulty parts or other factors.
Improperly loaded cargo is associated with poor training or haste. A driver who has not been properly trained might not know the correct way to tie down what they are hauling, or a driver might be in a hurry and fail to properly double-check that everything is in place. Either way, improperly loaded cargo is nearly always the result of operator error.
Flying or falling debris can be the fault of the truck driver or can be caused by the company shipping goods. Some materials, such as logs, might shed bark or wood chips at high speeds. This can be avoided in most instances by properly covering or securing the materials.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, it is likely one of these five factors played a role. Determining which one is important. Please, consult with an experienced attorney regarding your case.