According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck crashes are increasing, not decreasing. In 2016, there were 4,400 fatal truck accidents—a two percent increase from 2015. Many victims of these tragic collisions are the driver and passengers in much smaller passenger vehicles.
Major Causes of Truck Wrecks
While not always the case, many semi accidents happen due to the negligence of truck drivers and trucking companies. Some common reasons include:
- Driver fatigue. Driving when drowsy can reduce a driver’s capacity to handle a vehicle similar to intoxication. Truckers drive long hours without a break and can cause a collision when they are fighting to stay alert or fall asleep at the wheel. Federal hours of service regulations limit how long truckers can drive without a break, and these limits may have been violated when drowsy driving is the cause of a crash.
- Distracted driving. A truck driver’s mind and eyes are not on his driving and his hand may not be on the steering wheel when he is distracted. Talking on a cell phone, texting, reading a GPS, and eating are some of the distractions that can lead to deadly truck accidents.
- Intoxication. When a truck driver is intoxicated due to drug or alcohol use, his reasoning, vision, and reaction times are impaired. The result can be catastrophic for victims, who can suffer brain injuries, back and spinal injuries, internal organ damage, and burns in a crash.
- Speeding. Speeding is especially dangerous because it will take a trucker longer to slow down and stop, and the force of impact will be greater.
- Lack of Maintenance. When truckers and trucking companies fail to properly inspect and maintain their trucks, critical parts such as the steering, brakes, and tires can fail, and the trucker can lose control of his truck.
- Improper loading. If the cargo is not loaded properly, it can shift when being transported. This can make the truck unstable, and the trailer could swing into other nearby vehicles or cause a rollover accident. Unsecured loads can fall off the truck and may result in a multi-vehicle collision as drivers try to avoid the debris on the road.
Get the Legal Assistance You Need
If you were injured in a truck accident in the Cranston area, our experienced truck accident attorneys are here to investigate your situation and, if necessary, hold the trucking company and trucker responsible for compensating you for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Learn about our extensive experience in these cases and how we will aggressively fight for your legal rights. Call our office, or start an online chat to schedule a free consultation.