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5 Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents

Truck Accident
If you have recently been involved in a vehicle accident that involved a commercial truck, you might have a lot of questions. One thing that you could still be wondering is why the accident happened in the first place. Of course, vehicle accidents can happen for many reasons. These are some of the common causes for commercial truck accidents.

1. Driver Fatigue

Drowsy driving is very dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 72,000 accidents were caused by drowsy driving just in 2013.

Unfortunately, many truck drivers find themselves pushing themselves to drive even further when they're tired, since they might have deadlines to meet and because they might not be making money when they aren't on the road.

When truck drivers drive while they're tired, they can be more prone to getting into accidents. Even if they don't fall asleep, tired drivers can find it harder to focus and pay attention and more difficult to make good driving decisions. Plus, reaction times can also be slowed, which is very dangerous in a commercial truck that doesn't react as quickly as a smaller vehicle.

2. Speeding

Speeding can also contribute to commercial vehicle accidents. A driver who has a tight deadline to make might try to push it by speeding, but this can make the truck much more difficult to control. Large commercial trucks often take much longer to slow down and stop than smaller vehicles, and stopping distances can be increased significantly when a driver is speeding.

If a commercial vehicle is speeding when it makes contact in an accident, the impact also can be much more serious than if the driver was going the speed limit. This can lead to more injuries and more property damage than what might have occurred if the driver was going at a slower speed.

3. Heavy Loads

There are weight limits in place that commercial drivers are supposed to abide by. This is why you will often see truck scales on major highways. Unfortunately, some trucking companies overload their trucks with too much weight, and this can cause serious problems. An overloaded truck can be much more difficult for a driver to control, steer, and stop.

Additionally, impact in an accident can be much worse with an overloaded vehicle. This is because an already-heavy truck can be much heavier than usual when it's overloaded.

4. Poor Weather Conditions

Poor weather conditions can cause anyone to get into an accident. However, because commercial vehicles are so much larger and heavier, and because they're often carrying heavy loads, it can be even more difficult for truck drivers to stop their vehicles in wet or icy conditions than it would be for someone in a small passenger vehicle.

Of course, drivers have a responsibility to do what they can to stay safe when they're driving in bad weather conditions, such as by maintaining slower speeds and putting chains on their tires when driving in the snow or ice.

5. Truck Problems

Malfunctions with a commercial truck can cause many problems and can contribute to accidents. For example, a truck that doesn't have proper brakes might not be able to stop in time to prevent an accident, or a truck that doesn't have good tires might experience a tire blowout that can lead to an accident.

As you can see, there are various things that can cause serious accidents that involve commercial trucks and other drivers who might be on the road. Regardless of what might have caused the accident that you were in, we can help. Contact us at The Law Offices of Phillip Garrison Wedgworth so that we can help you with your case.