Commercial truck drivers often drive trucks weighing up to 80,000 pounds over long distances and in all types of weather conditions. Thousands of truck accidents happen every year due to their negligence, the negligence of other drivers, and external factors. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the number of truck accidents increased by twenty percent between 2009 and 2015.
Accidents involving commercial trucks can be especially catastrophic thanks to the heavy weight and larger sizes of commercial trucks, compared to passenger vehicles. Drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles often suffer serious injuries because of the negligent actions of truck drivers and trucking companies. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
Drowsy Driving: Commercial truck drivers have demanding schedules and may drive up to 11 hours a day. This often leads to drowsy driving, which studies have shown can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, if not more.
Distracted Driving: Distracted driving can occur when a driver’s attention is diverted from the road. Drivers often engage in activities, such as talking on the phone, eating, changing the radio station, or texting, that take their focus away from the road. Despite a nationwide ban against texting for commercial truck drivers, some drivers still text or use their phones while driving.
Speeding: According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, speeding is a contributing factor in about one-third of all motor vehicle accidents. Speeding is particularly dangerous for commercial truck drivers, due to the large size and weight of their trucks.
Drug Use: Trucking companies are responsible for testing drivers for alcohol and drug use as a condition of employment, randomly during employment, and after accidents involving fatalities. If a trucking company does not properly screen a driver for drug use and that driver causes an accident, the company may be held liable for any resulting damages and injuries.
Other Unsafe Driver Behaviors: Dangerous behavior on the part of the passenger vehicle driver can lead to accidents, including following a truck too closely, changing lanes abruptly, unsafe passing, and driving in a truck driver’s blind spots. Drivers of passenger vehicles often misjudge a truck’s performance abilities pertaining to visibility and breaking.
Equipment Problems: Failure to maintain equipment such as tires, steering, brakes, transmission, and lighting is a contributing factor to many truck accidents. Sometimes, the faulty equipment may also be due to a manufacturer’s defect or the improper attachment of a trailer.
Weather/Road Conditions: Adverse weather conditions such as heavy rain, sleet, or snow can put drivers at risk of getting in an accident. Also, some roads are not ideally constructed for trucks and may have narrow lanes or nowhere to pull over.
Inadequate Training/Inexperience: When truck drivers have not received adequate training, they are dangerous to themselves and to others on the road. Inexperience can also lead to accidents when truck drivers are unfamiliar with the road or how to handle certain conditions.
Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Advocate for Victims of Truck Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, contact a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. Our experienced attorneys will investigate the cause of your accident to determine which parties should be held accountable. Contact us online or call us at 215-569-8488 to schedule an initial consultation.
With offices located throughout the tri-state area, we serve clients in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.