Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
Trucking accidents result in serious and often fatal injuries – made even more tragic by the fact that so many trucking accidents are preventable. Often tractor trailer accidents occur because corners are cut and safety regulations are overlooked in the interest of meeting deadlines. The trucking industry is a powerful one, however, and a successful truck accident case requires the assistance of an experienced law firm familiar with trucking regulations.
Since 1981 the tractor trailer accident lawyers and staff of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., have dedicated their legal careers to helping people who were injured as a result of the carelessness of others. Call our New Jersey truck accident attorneys today at 1-800-LAW-2000 or use our online form to receive a free initial consultation.
A Closer Look at Truck Accident Causes
A study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration analyzed three years of fatal and injury crashes involving 141,000 large trucks such as tractor trailers, semi-trucks, tanker trucks or other 18 wheelers. The study identified the most common factors that increase the risk of a crash involving large trucks. Many accidents are caused by at-risk driver behavior.
Among the most commonly-cited factors in large truck crashes are:
- Brake problems—Tractor trailer truck brake problems were a factor in nearly one-third of the accidents studied. Trucking companies may cut corners on routine maintenance and fail to keep truck brakes properly adjusted, creating conditions that lead to a serious or fatal truck crash.
- Trucks Traveling too fast for conditions—Truck drivers may not slow down when rain, ice or snow make driving conditions hazardous and require all drivers, including commercial truck drivers, to slow down.
- Prescription drug use—Medications can cause drowsiness, slowing truck driver reflexes and impairing judgment.
- Driver fatigue – Tractor trailer truck drivers who are under pressure to meet deadlines will skip mandated sleep breaks in order to deliver a load on time. Many reports indicate that sleep-deprived 18 wheeler truck drivers pose as great a risk as those driving drunk.
- Speeding, tailgating and aggressive driving – Truck drivers often engage in risky behavior in order to reach their destination on schedule. Speeding was a contributing factor for nearly one of every four truck drivers who caused a truck accident, according to the federal study of three years of fatal and injury crashes.
- Faulty maintenance – Trucking companies or owner-operators may skip necessary or scheduled maintenance to save time and money.
- Drug and alcohol abuse while driving – Reckless truck drivers who drive while impaired pose a serious road hazard on NJ highways. Any driver who operates a vehicle under the influence is dangerous, but when the driver is behind the wheel of a truck weighing 80,000 pounds, the risk is compounded. Truckers may also take speed and other drugs in order to stay awake, compromising their judgment and mental alertness.
- Trucking company negligence – Trucking companies that employ drivers that have previously been charged with reckless or drunk driving can be held liable for negligence. Trucking companies can also be held negligent for most of the other factors listed here, particularly if they have encouraged the driver to speed or falsify logbooks in order to make a delivery on time.
- Improper driver training/qualifications – Drivers must receive their commercial driver’s license in order to operate a large truck, and those who lack proper training or certification are simply not equipped to safely drive.
- Unreasonable delivery schedules / fake log books – Federal law mandates that 18 wheeler drivers can only be on the road a certain number of hours at a time, and log books must be kept to document a driver’s hours. However, truckers are often given deadlines that don’t allow for mandated breaks and they may falsify their log books to get paid.
- Overloaded trucks / unsecured loads – Loading large trucks properly is an important step to ensure safe driving. Tractor trailer trucks carry extremely heavy loads, and if they aren’t secured the cargo can tumble from the truck and onto New Jersey highways, causing serious accidents and obstacles. An overloaded truck is also more difficult to maneuver, even for an experienced driver.
- Other violations of federal regulations – Trucking companies and drivers are often tempted to skip other legal requirements in order to meet their own bottom line, and important safety measures may not be met.
Experienced New Jersey Truck Accident Assistance
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, you need help from a New Jersey and New York law firm experienced in trucking accident claims – and one that knows the trucking regulations inside and out. The tractor trailer accident attorneys of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., have three decades of experience in representing persons who have been injured or killed in trucking collisions throughout the State of New Jersey and New York. We have handled thousands of accident injury claims, obtaining excellent results for our clients in many instances. Each case and the results vary, so we invite you to contact a truck accident lawyer at our New Jersey or New York offices to discuss the specifics of your situation. If we take your case, you can be assured we will use all the resources of our law firm to develop a strong argument for money damages and other compensation for you.
To speak with a personal injury lawyer with many years of experience, contact our New Jersey or New York offices at 1-800-LAW-2000. We do not charge attorney’s fees unless we are successful in your case and our initial consultations are free.
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