30 Aug 2016
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Posted By Darrigo, Diaz & Jimenez
Truck collisions can be some of the most severe auto accidents on the road. Unfortunately, it is passenger vehicles that bear the brunt of a collision with a tractor-trailer, which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. These accidents are almost always entirely preventable, and usually arise out of some form of negligence – meaning that damages are pursuable from the responsible party. Below, we have identified the most common causes of truck accidents.
Truck accidents most commonly arise from the following:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Truck drivers are held to a much higher standard than drivers of passenger vehicles. Drivers are permitted to operate their vehicles only when their blood alcohol concentrations are under .04 percent – half of the legal limit for other drivers. When drivers choose to drive while under the influence of alcohol, over the counter or prescription medication, or an illicit substance, they can be held liable in the event that they cause an accident.
- Failing to abide by FMCSA Hours of Service regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration created a list of hours of service regulations designed to ensure that drivers take their required rest breaks. Drivers are required to take mandatory 30-minute breaks after eight hours of driving, and cannot drive more than 14 consecutive hours since their last 10 hours off. When drivers ignore these regulations, they can become fatigued and greatly increase their chance of falling asleep behind the wheel and causing an accident.
- Reckless driving. Speeding, failing to check blind spots when merging, and ignoring signs and signals are examples of reckless driving. Not only can this make a truck driver liable in a civil lawsuit, but in some circumstances, they may even face criminal liability after a collision.
- Improper loading or overloading of cargo. Improperly loaded cargo could cause an imbalance that could increase the likelihood of the truck flipping or jackknifing. Similarly, overloading trailers with more than 80,000 pounds of cargo could place too much strain on axles and tires, and will require a greater distance to bring the truck to a stop. If the truck needs to brake suddenly, they will not have enough time to prevent a collision if they are following other vehicles too closely.
- Inadequate truck maintenance. Trucks travel tens of thousands of miles every year, so it is critical that they receive regular maintenance. Without it, something like a tire blowout, break failure, or other vehicle malfunction could cause the driver to lose control of his or her truck and cause a collision.
If you have been injured in an accident that you believe was caused by a negligent truck driver, you should immediately contact Darrigo, Diaz & Jimenez, Attorneys at Law. You may be entitled to substantial compensation. With more than 200 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys are fully committed to protecting the rights of the injured and are not afraid to go to court to bring you the highest amount of compensation possible.
Our Tampa truck accident lawyers are prepared to evaluate your potential case free of charge – please fill out an online contact form and we will be in touch with you soon.