Semi Truck Accidents: The 5 most Common Causes

Orlando Truck Accident Attorney Expert Weighs In

Trucking accidents are more likely to cause serious injury or death, yet many can be avoided by taking a few simple precautions beforehand. Here are the five most common types of trucking injuries motorists are likely to encounter.

1. Improper Loading

A semi truck that is poorly loaded is much more dangerous than an automobile, simply because of the sheer amount of weight it is carrying. An improperly loaded tractor trailer has a higher chance of overturning or jackknifing, and is also more likely to spill precious cargo onto the roadways, thereby causing vehicle collisions.

2. Poorly maintained equipment

Big rigs have unique braking systems, gears and suspensions, all of which must be properly maintained to ensure safety. Federal law requires truckers to perform routine inspections of certain parts prior to each trip; however, due to time constraints and/or fatigue, many drivers fail to do so. The fact that there is a problem with the rig often goes unnoticed until after there has been an accident. For more information on negligent maintenance see our article Truck Accident Claims Involving Negligent Maintenance & Inspection.

3. Fatigue

It may not seem like hard work, but sitting behind the wheel of a truck for hours on end can be physically and mentally draining. Add to that the pressure to ensure timely shipments, and the result is that many truckers find themselves driving while fatigued. The federal government has implemented rules around how long truckers can drive between breaks which are covered in our article Semi Truck Drivers Asleep Behind The Wheel. Not only is sleep deprivation a problem, but the fact that drivers often operate in multiple time zones within a very short period can lead to interruptions in sleep cycles as well.

4. Weather

Truck drivers operate in all types of weather, which can have a significant impact on safety. Driving in thunderstorms, blizzards or ice storms is hazardous for a number of reasons, especially when bad weather happens in mountainous areas. Our article Avoiding Weather Related Semi Truck Accidents provides important information about how to stay safe on the road in bad weather conditions. Even though drivers have early warning systems that let them know about severe weather patterns, many will nonetheless push their luck and attempt to drive under harsh conditions.

5. Negligent hiring practices

Trucking companies have a duty of care to select only the safest drivers to fill open positions. Even so, staffing shortages can sometimes cause hiring managers to overlook previous accidents or fail to perform routine drug screenings. Drivers who have a history of unsafe behavior or who routinely abuse drugs or alcohol are more likely to be involved in an accident, and can cost a company far more money in the long run than if they had waited to hire the right person in the beginning.

In many cases, more than one of these issues plays a part in a trucking accident. If you are an accident victim, knowing what steps should have been taken to prevent it in the first place can go a long way toward helping you prove negligence. Your best odds of recovery happen whenever you consult with an attorney who is familiar with trucking laws. The Florida semi truck accident attorneys at David & Philpot, P.L. have been helping accident victims receive the compensation they deserve for over 20 years. Give them a call today at 800.360.7015 to discuss the details of your case.