Common Causes of Trucking Accidents

Attorneys Serving Victims of Trucking Accidents in Rhode Island and Massachusetts

Accidents on the road are a common occurrence, but not every collision has the same implications for drivers and passengers. Large trucking accidents or those involving a large commercial vehicle can have effects on small vehicle occupants more so than accidents that involve similar sized cars or trucks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, large trucking accidents were responsible for over 25,000 personal injuries throughout 2012, a noticeable increase from previous years, and nearly 700 fatalities.

While these statistics may seem small on the grand scale of motor vehicle accidents each year, a crash with a large truck often results in far more serious injuries and confusion as to who may be at fault. To help protect you and your family from a large trucking accident, it may be helpful to know and understand the most common causes behind incidents involving trucks.

Equipment Failure

A number of large trucking accidents can be directly attributed to equipment failure, including:

  • Manufacturing errors such as defective tires
  • Design flaws such as no reverse detection mechanisms
  • Mechanical issues including brakes or tires that are not maintained properly
  • Non-compliance with FMSCA rules relating to truck inspection schedules

Failure of trucking equipment can lead to accidents with other large trucks and commercial vehicles, as well as smaller passenger vehicles such as cars, light trucks, and minivans.

Driver Error

In addition to equipment failure, truck driver error is a common cause for trucking accidents on the road. Truck drivers may be operating a large truck while distracted due to texting, talking on the phone, or listening to music, causing them to be inattentive while driving. Driver error may also be caused by substance abuse of alcohol or drugs while behind the wheel. Each of these gross errors by truck drivers can lead to serious accidents with other vehicles.

Improper Loading

Truck drivers that have improperly loaded their cargo are also a threat to other vehicles on the road. A truck’s load that is not correctly balanced creates a greater probability of the truck tipping over. An improper load may also cause cargo to fall off the truck, hindering the visibility or striking other drivers on the road.

Driver Fatigue

In recent years, drive fatigue has become a topic of discussion and point of real concern among safety officials. Truck drivers make a living by being on the road, and as such, have the desire to drive and carry loads as much as possible. This can lead to driver fatigue, which makes paying attention to driving conditions and other vehicles on the road a challenging task. While there are regulations in place for how long truck drivers may safely operate their vehicle, driver fatigue is a common cause for crashes with other vehicles.

Weather Conditions

As with other vehicles, weather conditions can play a role in the potential for an accident to occur. With larger trucks, there is a much larger amount of weight being transported from one location to the next. When weather conditions are less than ideal, including heavy rain, snow, or fog, large trucks have a much harder time safely stopping their vehicles than smaller cars or trucks. Failure to adequately slow or come to a stop can quickly result in an accident.

Speak to a Rhode Island Accident Attorney Today

At the Bottaro Law Firm, LLC, we understand the devastating impact a trucking accident can have on you and your family. We work diligently with our trucking accident injury clients to ensure they receive sufficient compensation for medical treatment and other damages incurred from the truck driver and, oftentimes, the trucking company. If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle or large truck, contact us today to discuss your case.