Common Causes of Truck Accidents in the United States

 Posted on June 29,2018 in Auto Accidents

Kane County truck accident attorneyCar accidents can come in many different shapes and forms, ranging from mild to serious in severity. When you are involved in a truck accident, it is often a critical situation, because trucks are so much bigger than the average car. Collisions involving tractor-trailer trucks can result in serious injuries to both the driver of the truck and to the drivers and passengers of other vehicles. Several departments and administrations monitor truck accidents and try to decrease the number of accidents that occur each year. The causes of these accidents are recorded and are used as tools to reduce the number of accidents.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are caused by many of the same things normal vehicle accidents are caused by--driver impairment, carelessness, and speeding. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) assigns codes to truck accident causes using three variables:

  • Critical event: This is the event that put the vehicle in a situation where the crash was unavoidable.
  • Critical reason: This is the immediate reason for the event that caused the crash. These can be coded as driver errors, vehicle failures or environmental conditions.
  • Associated factors: These are the personal, vehicle, and environmental conditions that were present at the time of the crash, though these factors do not necessarily have to be related to the reason the crash occurred.

Critical Events of Truck Accidents

The FMCSA assigned three types of critical events to large trucks:

  • Running out of the lane the truck was traveling in, whether it be into another lane or off of the road.
  • Loss of control of the vehicle due to traveling too fast for the conditions, shifted cargo, failure of vehicle systems, poor road conditions, or other reasons.
  • Colliding with the rear end of another vehicle in the same lane of traffic as the truck.

Critical Reasons for Truck Accidents

The FMCSA codes driver critical reasons in four categories:

  • Non-performance: These types of reasons can include drivers falling asleep, being affected by health conditions such as seizures or heart attacks, or other types of physical impairment.
  • Recognition: The driver was not paying attention, was distracted by something inside or outside of the vehicle, or failed to recognize the situation for some other reason.
  • Decision: If the cause of the crash was due to a decision the driver made, such as driving too fast for the current conditions of the road, following vehicles too closely, or misjudging the traveling speed of other vehicles, it would be coded here.
  • Performance: This covers the driver’s actions prior to the crash. The driver could have overcompensated for a situation on the road, panicked, or did not control the truck appropriately.

Associated Factors

A variety of associated factors in truck accidents have been recorded by the FMCSA. The top five associated factors in truck accidents are:

  • Brake problems
  • Traffic flow interruption, such as heavy traffic
  • Prescription drug use
  • Traveling too fast for the road conditions
  • Unfamiliarity with the roadway

Seek Legal Representation From a Kane County Truck Accident Attorney

Truck accidents can cause serious injuries and death for those who are involved. If you have suffered an injury due to a truck accident or your loved one has been killed in a collision with a semi-trailer truck, you should immediately contact a knowledgeable Aurora personal injury lawyer. Contact Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. at 630-907-0909 to set up a free consultation.


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