Unfortunately, trucking accidents remain a serious safety problem in our region. Although these crashes can happen for a wide array of different reasons, most of them could have been prevented with proper care.
The Large Truck Crash Causation Study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) comprehensively investigated and evaluated a large number of commercial truck accidents. The purpose of the study was to determine how and why these collisions occur—so that we are better equipped to avoid them in the future. Here are five of the most common causes of truck accidents that were identified by the researchers:
1. Distracted and Inattentive Driving
All drivers have a legal responsibility to keep their focus and attention on the road. Distracted driving is, by definition, dangerous driving—especially when the driver is operating a large truck. It is also one of the leading causes of large truck accidents. From texting and driving to simply daydreaming, distracted or inattentive driving can result in very serious accidents.
2. Truck Driver Fatigue
Many truckers put in very long hours behind the wheel. When drivers do not get enough rest, it becomes a safety hazard. In fact, study after study has shown that fatigued driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. In recent years, the federal government has put new restrictions in place to limit the number of hours truckers can work in a given time period. Trucking companies must comply with these regulations. Failure to do so is negligence.
3. Speeding Truckers—Often on Tight Delivery Schedules
Many truck drivers are working to meet tight delivery windows. Unfortunately, this can put pressure on a driver to speed in order to make up any time that was lost due to traffic. A speeding truck is a dangerous truck. All trucking companies must give their drivers adequate time to meet their goals without speeding.
4. Poorly Loaded Trailers (Cargo Shifts)
Loading a commercial truck is more complicated than simply throwing everything in the back. Trailers must be loaded in the proper manner to allow the truck to maintain balance while on the road. Negligent loading of trailers is the core cause of many truck accidents. A cargo shift while the vehicle is moving can create a potentially dangerous situation. Trucking companies can be held liable for crashes that occur because of or are made worse by poorly loaded trailers.
5. Truck Maintenance Problems
Commercial trucking companies have a duty to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy. Among other things, these firms should conduct regular pre-trip and post-trip inspections, identifying all possible safety issues. When problems are discovered, companies must take action to fix the vehicle. Lack of proper truck maintenance can result in crashes.
Call Our Washington Truck Accident Lawyers Today
At Albrecht Law PLLC, our Washington motor vehicle accident lawyers have extensive experience representing victims of large truck crashes. If you or your family member was hurt in a collision with a commercial truck, we are here to help. For a free, no commitment review of your case, please contact our legal team right away. Call (509) 495-1246.