Large truck accidents are those that involve commercial trucks weighing up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. Large commercial trucks can be 20 to 30 times heavier than other vehicles on the road. Driving a truck is a special skill you must be trained for, leading you to wonder – what causes truck accidents?
If you need help after a truck accident, a top West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath is here for you. Chat with us online now, send us a message, or call 561-655-1990 to talk to our team about your needs and see how we can help.
Causes of Truck Accidents
There are many causes of truck accidents, including errors made by the driver, vehicle errors, and breaking commercial trucking rules and regulations. Sometimes, it can take long investigations to figure out the exact cause(s) and fault in a truck accident case.
Drivers make errors everywhere around us on the road. They can be intentional or unintentional.
Common types of driving errors that cause truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving, such as talking or texting on the phone
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Truck driver fatigue
- Improper truck operation
- Impaired driving
- Driving in bad weather conditions
Truck drivers are known to feel fatigued after long work hours, and they can often be pressured to meet deadlines on a tight schedule. This may cause a truck driver to drive in inclement weather, speed, or fall asleep at the wheel, which can be deadly when driving large, heavy vehicles.
Just like car accidents, commercial truck accidents can be caused by vehicle malfunctions or vehicle errors. Vehicle malfunctions may be due to a manufacturer’s error, such as a part defect or malfunction. In these cases, a manufacturer may be held liable for damages caused by the defective part.
Vehicle errors can include everything from a defective tire to transmission problems specific to the make/model/year of the truck, and more. Malfunctions on the road can cause abrupt swerving or stopping, causing one or more vehicles to collide with the truck.
Vehicle errors can also be due to lack of maintenance, which may also show that the trucking company is breaking maintenance standards defined in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations. Trucks must be maintained on a specific schedule. The other driver’s vehicle could also malfunction due to a lack of maintenance.
Breaking Rules & Regulations
Safe operation of a commercial truck is governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) regulations. These regulations cover everything from maintenance standards to weight limits, work hours, hiring, and more.
Truck drivers have to follow an additional set of regulations on top of standard traffic laws, and trucking companies have to plan all aspects of their operations around the FMCSA regulations.
Many times, truck accidents are partially or fully caused by a truck driver and/or trucking company’s failure to follow and uphold FMCSA rules. To prove all aspects of fault, this may be coupled with a driver error, such as exceeding work-hour regulations and causing drowsy driving, resulting in a truck accident.
In a legal case, a lawyer will often find one or more FMCSA regulations that were not followed and cite them as attributing to the negligence which caused the victim’s damages.
Types of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents often happen in the same fashion that car accidents do. Trucks may rear-end another vehicle or be in a side collision. There are also some types of truck accidents that are unique to this type of vehicle, such as a jackknife or underride truck accident. The most common types of truck accidents include but are not limited to:
- Jackknife – When a commercial truck creates a 90-degree angle while turning and sandwiches or collides with another vehicle.
- Underride – A small vehicle slides underneath the rear or side of the truck and may become trapped.
- Cargo – A commercial truck’s cargo has fallen out of the trailer or truck bed and causes damage and/or an accident to other vehicles on the road.
- Side-impact – A commercial truck collides with the side of a vehicle, commonly happening at an intersection.
- Multi-vehicle – A commercial truck collides with more than one other vehicle.
- Head-on – The front of a commercial truck runs into the front of another vehicle.
- Rear-end – A vehicle runs into the back of a truck, or a truck runs into the back of another vehicle.
- Rollover – A truck rolls over after or during a collision.
- Tire blowout – A truck’s tire blows and causes an accident.
Meet With a Florida Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident and has suffered many damages, you may need a Boca Raton truck accident lawyer to work with the trucking company’s insurance adjuster on your behalf or take legal action to claim your damages in court. We can help you understand what causes truck accidents and get the maximum compensation that you are entitled to receive.
We’d love to hear about your case. Call 561-655-1990, chat with us online, or send us a message to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation today!