Trucking accidents have become an unfortunately common occurrence in Oklahoma and the United States, overall. With a 20 percent increase over the last two decades according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), trucking accidents are raising concerns over the multi-billion dollar industry’s safety standards. In most cases, trucking accidents result in major injury, and even death, due to the fact that they are some 20 times the size and weight of most other vehicles on the road. Many people do not realize the complicated nature of trucking accidents, as it can be difficult to determine who is responsible and what actually caused the accident. In fact, these types of accidents are typically more involved than simple car-on-car traffic accidents.
Educating yourself about the most common reasons for trucking accidents is a good way to help you determine what, exactly, went wrong and whether or not you have a case. Below you will find information on the leading causes of trucking accidents. If you have any questions about this information or would like to set up a consultation with one of our Oklahoma trucking accident attorneys, please contact Atkins & Markoff today.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
Here is a look at the top causes of truck accidents in the United States:
Of all the causes of trucking accidents, driver error is ten times more likely than any other reasons to cause a crash. Factors that result in driver error include fatigue, inattention, distractions, and substance abuse. A combination of or any of these factors on their own can lead to unnecessary risks and the inability of a driver to react to dangers and other problems on the roads.
Another common cause of trucking accidents is equipment or mechanical failure. This might include defective tires, ineffective reverse-detection warning devices, improperly maintained brakes or tires, or some other design or manufacturing error. While the FMCSA requires every single truck driver and company to perform a pre-trip inspection of the vehicle as well as regular inspections and maintenance, these tasks aren’t always thoroughly conducted. If maintained properly, mechanical wear and tear and other issues would be detected and resolved. However, FMCSA guidelines are all-too often ignored and devastating accidents occur as a result.
Depending on the time of year and area of the country, weather can play a huge role in the safety of the roads and in trucking accidents in general. Due to the heavy weight of the trucks and their loads, braking distance is often hampered in bad weather. In a nutshell, big trucks cannot stop as quickly or react as fast as cars can. Furthermore, truck drivers oftentimes don’t take these limitations into consideration when driving in bad weather conditions.
Last but not least, the way in which a truck is loaded can play a role in trucking accidents. If the load is not safely configured or distributed in the truck’s trailer, it can cause the vehicle to malfunction. When the load is off balance, it could result in the truck being top-heavy and tipping over. In other instances, improper loading can result in the load not being secured as it should be, which means it could fall off the truck and into the roadways and lanes of traffic.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a trucking accident, please contact Atkins & Markoff today. Our knowledgeable trucking accident attorneys will work with you one-on-one to answer the complicated questions that oftentimes come along with these types of accidents.