While today’s vehicles provide more safety features to drivers and passengers than ever before, thousands of people are still injured or killed in car crashes every day across the United States. Collisions involving semi-trailer trucks are especially dangerous, due to their large size and weight. Truck accidents result in nearly 4,000 fatalities and 100,000 injuries every year, and unfortunately, many of these accidents are preventable. Drivers who have been injured in a collision with a tractor-trailer truck should understand the potential causes of these types of accidents and their options for pursuing compensation from the liable parties.
Leading Causes of Truck Crashes
Truck drivers must receive training and meet a number of requirements to receive a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and they must follow certain procedures when driving. In addition, trucking companies are required to follow specific rules and regulations designed to maintain safety on the roads. Unfortunately, drivers and their employers sometimes fail to meet these requirements, and deadly accidents can result from their negligence. Some of the common causes of these crashes include:
Driver error - Truck drivers who speed, follow other vehicles too closely, do not compensate for road conditions or weather, leave their lane unexpectedly, or otherwise lose control of their vehicle can cause major collisions. These types of errors are often the result of distracted driving, including when truck drivers use cell phones, radios, or electronic logging equipment.
Driver fatigue - Truck drivers have strict rules for how many hours they are allowed to drive without rest, but they often push these limits, sometimes due to pressure from their employers. Drivers who have been on the road for over eight hours are twice as likely to be involved in a crash as those who have been driving for shorter periods.
Intoxicated driving - Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including prescription drugs) is dangerous for any driver, but especially so for truck drivers, since impairment to reaction time and judgment can lead to deadly collisions. Many truck drivers use illicit or over-the-counter stimulants to combat fatigue, and these intoxicants can make them more likely to lose control of their vehicle.
Equipment failure - Improperly maintained truck equipment can lead to brake failure, engine failure, tire blowouts, detached trailers, or shifting loads, all of which can lead to collisions that cause massive damage to other vehicles.
Contact a Kane County Truck Accident Attorney
Truck crashes can cause devastating injuries to drivers and passengers, and negligent drivers or employers should be held responsible for the damages that they have caused. At Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C., our experienced attorneys can help you recover the compensation you deserve when you are injured in a truck accident. Contact our Aurora personal injury lawyers at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free initial consultation.