While any motor vehicle accident can be serious, crashes that involve at least one large commercial vehicle can cause especially severe damage and injuries. Because truck collisions can have such serious consequences, it is important to be aware of the common causes of these crashes. This is not only to prevent semi-truck accidents from happening but also to identify liability in the wake of a collision. Knowing who is liable is essential for victims to seek compensation for their injuries and losses from the appropriate parties.
Reports issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) indicate that the most common cause of truck accidents is a mistake on the part of the truck driver. Truck drivers go through extensive training and testing in order to receive their commercial driver’s license (CDL), and they should fully understand the importance of safety behind the wheel. Unfortunately, too many truck drivers still act negligently and may cause serious accidents and injuries.
The following are some examples of driver negligence that can lead to a crash:
- Distracted driving, including using handheld mobile devices
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Operating a truck with a known serious health condition that may lead to a health event behind the wheel
- Driving while fatigued or in violation of “hours of service” regulations
- Not performing all required pre-shift inspections
- Speeding, tailgating, or other forms of aggressive driving
- Violating any FMCSA regulations or traffic laws
If you see a truck driver who appears to be driving erratically or dangerously, stay out of their way. Sometimes, however, there is no way to identify a negligent driver until it is too late.
Negligence on the Part of the Trucking Company
The companies that employ truck drivers and own commercial vehicles can also be negligent, which can result in a later crash. This type of negligence may be more difficult to identify, so it is critical to have an attorney handling your case who knows how to thoroughly investigate trucking company practices to determine liability. Trucking companies can be negligent in the following ways, among others:
- Negligent hiring of drivers with a history of DUI or dangerous driving
- Hiring drivers without proper CDLs or qualifications
- Not supervising drivers to enforce compliance with the law and safe driving practices
- Not properly inspecting and maintaining trucks
Another important aspect of the trucking industry is the appropriate loading of cargo and requirements can vary depending on the type of cargo in question. When cargo is not loaded properly, a trailer can easily get thrown off balance and can cause the driver to lose control of the truck. Cargo mistakes can happen in different ways, including:
- Overloading a trailer
- Not adequately securing cargo
- Mistakes involving liquid cargo
Discuss Your Crash with a Tustin, CA Truck Accident Attorney Today
At the Law Office of Gary A. Peterson, we have represented clients injured in truck accidents that were caused by a variety of reasons. We have the resources to identify all liable parties in your case and pursue the full amount of compensation you deserve. Call use today at 714-461-6003 for a free consultation.