1 May

Five Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck Accident

A commercial trucking accident often amounts to a serious trucking accident with catastrophic injuries for all parties involved. They can be a nightmare to sort out legally, with multiple parties carrying liability and insurance companies and attorneys aiming to determine and assess fault so that each party’s injuries can be properly addressed, both medically and financially. Because truck accidents often result in hospitalization and long-term medical care, medical expenses and lost wages quickly add up.

Trucking accidents often involve commercial vehicles carrying cargo, such as 18-wheelers, delivery and tanker trucks, tractor-trailers, flatbeds, and more. Because these vehicles are incredibly large and often difficult to maneuver, accidents can be more prevalent – and far more deadly. Understanding the primary causes of trucking accidents might help truck drivers avoid these accidents in the future.


Because truck drivers often spend long hours on the road, they often don’t get the sleep they need or fall prone to distracted driving. Distracted driving patterns include daydreaming, fussing with radio or other equipment, talking on the phone, or taking their eyes off the road to check something else going on within the vehicle. If a driver fails to take adequate care of their health in order to avoid sleepiness on the road or engages in distracted behavior while driving, they will likely be considered negligent and responsible for the cause of an accident.


Speeding is the most common driver-related factor in fatal accidents that involve trucks in the United States; it’s estimated that up to 30 percent of truck drivers involved in these types of accidents were speeding. Because trucks weigh significantly – up to 20 or 30 times more – than a car, an accident involving a speeding truck can be particularly serious, and even deadly. Truck drivers should always be careful to be mindful of the speeding limit, and pay close attention to avoid anyone driving too quickly on the road.

Equipment, Mechanical, or Cargo Load Failure

Poor maintenance and equipment failures cause accidents, and truck drivers have a duty of care to inspect their trucks frequently and ensure there are no essential repairs needed. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires periodic inspections of brakes, tires, and other parts on their vehicles. Similarly, when cargo is improperly loaded it can cause a variety of issues, including causing tire blowouts or causing accidents from flying debris.

Improper Braking Techniques

Most large trucks have air brake systems, and these types of brakes require extensive knowledge and experience to maneuver. Because trucks are carrying heavy cargo and it is far more difficult to stop a large, heavy vehicle than it is your average car, understanding this complex brake system becomes all the more paramount. Truck drivers should be aware that quickly slamming on their brakes can lead to a fatal accident.

Poor Weather and Road Conditions

Bad weather and shoddy roads substantially increases the likelihood of an accident. Visibility is reduced and dangerous conditions, such as potholes, sinkholes, and icy roads, abound. As such, truck drivers should avoid driving in these conditions at all costs if they wish to avoid accidents.

Were you injured in an accident involving a big rig? You may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today to discuss your legal rights and options.