What Are The Most Common Factors in Collisions Between Commercial Trucks and Automobiles?
Crashes between commercial trucks and automobiles often lead to devastating property damage, catastrophic injuries, or worse, loss of life. Truck vs. automobile crashes leads to more serious injuries than a car vs. car collision because an automobile is simply no match for a massive commercial truck. Commercial trucks are likewise heavier than passenger cars and take a longer time to brake, so the injuries suffered in truck crashes are more severe and debilitating.
Why Commercial Truck Accidents Happen
A recent study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that the most common factor that causes truck crashes is driver error, which can include the following:
- The truck driver was inattentive or was distracted by something outside or inside their car or did not properly and adequately observe the situation.
- The truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel, was disabled by a stroke, seizure, or heart attack, or was otherwise physically impaired.
- The truck driver was speeding, followed other cars too closely, or misjudged how fast the other cars were traveling.
- The truck driver panicked and overcompensated or didn’t have proper directional control.
Even seemingly minor mechanical issues could lead to a devastating crash. Common mechanical issues that could result in truck crashes include:
- Worn or improperly inflated tires
- Poorly maintained or defective brakes
- Missing or faulty safety equipment like underride rails
- Unbalanced or overweight cargo
- Manufacturing defects on certain parts
- Transmission failure
- Defective or malfunctioning lights and turn signals
A trucker who’s under the influence of alcohol or drugs risks the safety of other road users since their judgment, reaction time, and reflexes are impaired. Impaired driving can also happen when a trucker is fatigued or tired. Fatigued driving is just as hazardous as driving while drugged or drunk since the trucker’s senses aren’t at their peak. Additionally, some prescription and OTC drugs can cause drowsiness.
Negligent Trucking Company Practices
In many cases, a trucking company’s commitment to meeting delivery deadlines creates unrealistic schedules, driver fatigue, and improper loading, which increases the risk of a truck accident. Federal rules limit the number of hours truckers can drive to 11 consecutive hours, and truckers must rest for at least 10 hours following a long shift to combat driver fatigue.
Unfortunately, some truckers push themselves to the limit due to pressure from their employers when completing deliveries. Many truckers are usually forced to drive for 14 to 16 hours. Some of them fall asleep while driving, which raises the risk of a serious crash.
Seek Legal Guidance From a Top Morristown New Jersey Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Did you suffer injuries and other damages in a Morristown truck crash due to a truck driver or another entity’s negligent actions? You deserve to pursue financial compensation for all the accident-related losses you incurred in the crash. Please get in touch with the Leonard Legal Group right away. Scott Leonard is a board-certified civil trial attorney and has been handling truck accident cases for over 25 years and can help you get the compensation you deserve. You can schedule a free evaluation with our Morristown truck accident lawyers by calling 973-984-1414 or reaching us online.