8 Main Reasons Truckers Cause Crashes Resulting in Motorists’ Deaths
While all vehicle accidents can be scary, being hit by a truck weighing 10,000 pounds or more can be terrifying and the injuries catastrophic. Unfortunately, fatalities from truck accidents are increasing, not decreasing. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2013, 3,964 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes—a two percent increase from 2012.
Primary Causes of Truck Accidents
Accidents caused by truckers result in victims suffering devastating injuries—like paralysis, amputation of a limb, traumatic brain injury, burns, and death—as well as long-term emotional trauma from the accident and their injuries. Ways truck accidents happen include:
- Driver fatigue. Truckers drive long hours without a break—even if they follow FMCSA’s hours of service rules. Trucker fatigue is common and results in the driver making poor decisions causing crashes.
- Speeding. Speeding is especially dangerous for trucks because it takes them longer to slow down and stop. If a trucker is speeding when he must suddenly stop or slow down—especially on the highway—he could cause a multi-car crash.
- Prescription drug abuse. Many accidents are caused by truck drivers abusing prescription drugs, such as barbiturates, amphetamines, morphine, and other powerful drugs, that impair their decision-making and judgment.
- Unfamiliarity with the road. Truckers often must deliver their loads to unfamiliar locations and can cause deadly crashes when they are reading maps or their GPS while driving if they get lost.
- Inadequate surveillance. Trucks have large blind spots on both sides and behind the truck. Truckers must be extra vigilant about their surroundings to know when other vehicles enter their blind spots to avoid these common accidents.
- Over-the-counter medications. Many medications—including cough medicine—can impair a trucker’s judgment while he’s driving.
- Not following the rules of the road. Because trucks are so much larger than other vehicles, truckers need to be extra careful to obey all traffic laws, such as not running a red light or stop sign or making improper left turns.
- Distracted driving. Talking on a cellphone, texting, and fiddling with music can be even more deadly when the distracted driver is a trucker.
Were you injured in an accident caused by a trucker? Was a family member killed? I have extensive experience helping people like you. Call me at 888.716.8021 for a free no-obligation consultation to learn about your legal options.