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Causes of Truck Accidents


The trucking industry plays an integral role in the American economy; therefore, semi-trucks and eighteen wheelers dominate the roads. They are everywhere. Truck drivers however, are human and just like any other driver, they are prone to making mistakes.

The catch is, when a truck driver makes a mistake, the property damage and injuries sustained by other motorists can be astronomical. Case in point, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that of the fatalities sustained in truck accidents in 2013:

  • Over 70% were the occupants of other cars and trucks.
  • Only 17% were sustained by the occupants of the large trucks.
  • A total of 11% were nonoccupants, such as pedestrians or bicyclists.

How many truck accidents are there every year? According to the NHTSA, in 2013, there was approximately 342,000 truck accidents. Of those, 95,000 people were injured and another 3,964 people were killed.

When Truck Driver Error Causes Truck Accidents

The most common cause of truck accidents is truck driver error. While alcohol only plays a small role in truck driver error, truck driver fatigue and the use of prescription medications, which cause extreme drowsiness play a much bigger role.

Other forms of truck driver error, include:

  • Speeding
  • Improperly loaded cargo
  • Unfamiliarity with the road
  • Driving a truck that needed maintenance
  • Depowering the brakes
  • Reckless driving or "road rage"

According to a recent study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck driver error is ten times more likely to be the cause of truck accidents than any other factor, including road or weather conditions, or vehicle performance.

Additionally, the study found that of all of the truck accidents caused by truck driver negligence: 44% involved prescription or over-the-counter drugs, 23% had to do with driving too fast for conditions, and 18% were caused by driver fatigue.

Truck Accident Claims in Columbia, SC

Were you injured in a truck accident? If so, contact a Columbia personal injury lawyer from Masella Law Firm, P.A. for help. We understand how the trucking industry works and would be glad to help navigate you through the claims process.

To get started, fill out our personal case evaluation form today.

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