4 Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents

There are millions of tractor trailers on the roads each day in the United States. Every 15 minutes, someone dies or sustains a serious injury in an accident involving a tractor trailer. With the size and weight of these trucks, you can imagine how serious those injuries could be. What are some of the most common causes of tractor trailer accidents?

1. Shifting and Falling Cargo

Most truck drivers are not responsible for loading their cargo, but some are. The company the driver is driving for could also be responsible for it, as could a third party loader. In any case, when the cargo is loaded incorrectly, it could shift and fall. When this occurs, it jolts the truck or causes it to jackknife. Improper weight distribution could cause the truck to roll.

There are also open trucks that carry heavy loads. When the cargo shifts on an open bed, it could fall off the truck all together. It could hit another vehicle, block a road or cause a host of serious issues.

2. Improper Maintenance

Proper maintenance is an essential part of safety. Big trucks have a lot of moving parts, and they all need to function correctly to keep the driver and those around the truck safe. In some situations, the driver owns the truck and is responsible for maintenance. In others, the truck is owned by another party that is  responsible for maintenance. When the party in charge of maintaining the truck doesn’t get the job done, some mechanism is bound to fail, which will lead to a crash.

3. Drowsy Driving

Only a small percentage of truck accidents are the fault of the driver, though it does occur. The most common type of accident resulting from driver error is drowsy driving. Sometimes the trucking company is also to blame because they forced the driver to take a longer trip than he or she should have between taking sleeping breaks.

4. Other Drivers

Because the typical car owner doesn’t understand what it takes to drive a tractor trailer, they often cause accidents. It takes at least 200 yards for a big truck to stop, so if another vehicle cuts off the truck, it’s most likely going to cause a wreck. Other cars on the roadway also sometimes ride in the truck’s blind spot, and that almost always ends badly.

Getting Your Attorney Involved

If you have been in an accident involving a tractor trailer, it might be time to get your attorney involved. Contact a truck accident lawyer, today to learn what you need to do.