A tractor trailer semi accident is usually much more complicated than a car crash. One has to understand the reasons for trucking accidents and the relationships among the driver, the owner, the leasing company and the company connected to the cargo of the truck. One also has to have experience and knowledge about the trucking industry to recover compensation after an accident with a commercial truck. You are usually faced with the trucking company’s insurance carrier and a team of lawyers, who have all the resources on their side. You will need a Missouri truck crash lawyer to take on the trucking company after suffering injuries. If you were injured in a truck accident in Missouri, it is extremely import to hire an trucking attorney immediately. For a better understanding of the process, we will look at the common causes of truck accidents.
THE COMMON CAUSES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS
“The Large Truck Causation Study” performed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration revealed the true causes of large truck accidents. The research included 1,127 large trucks and 959 motor vehicles. The deaths in these accidents were 251 and injuries were 1,408.
- The use of drugs was responsible for 26% of the accidents. This includes prescription drugs and illegal drugs that affected the driver’s reaction time. Drugged driving is an enormous problem across the United States.
- Speeding was a factor in 23% of the truck accidents. The force of impact from an 80,000-pound truck increases with speed.
- Truck drivers are often unfamiliar with the areas they travel and 22% of the accidents involved a driver that was not familiar with the road.
- In 14% of the accidents, at least one cause was the driver’s failure to check blind spots.
- Truck driver fatigue was present in 13% of the accidents.
- It is not unusual for a driver to forget safety measures. In 9% of the accidents the driver failed to use a turn signal.
- According to the study, 8% of the accidents involved distracted driving.
- Big trucks are difficult to maneuver and 7% of the accidents were the result of drivers who underestimated the level of evasive action needed.
- Aggressive driving was present in 7% of the accidents.
18 WHEELER ACCIDENTS CAUSE SERIOUS INJURIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE DAMAGE
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer asked the Department of Transportation to investigate the connection between commercial truck bridge accidents and GPS systems. The use of GPS navigational devices are popular among truck drivers and are of great concern as truck bridge strikes are increasing. Many truckers follow the route suggested by a GPS device and ignore warning signs of low-clearance bridges. Bridge strikes are the cause of traffic slamming into the back of the trucks and damages done to the bridges above.
It is difficult for the infrastructure to support bigger trucks. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials showed that many ramps on even Interstate Highways were unable to accommodate the off-tracking, swept path width of a tractor-trailer pulling a forty-eight-foot long semi-trailer and the trucks intrude into the traffic lanes used by cars, which is potentially dangerous.
Accidents involving trucks are a serious concern. The Study of Characteristics and Evaluations of Factors Associated with Large Truck Crashes found that eighty-one percent of truck accidents resulted in fatality.
OTHER FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS TRUCK ACCIDENTS
A large number of fatal truck accidents are often caused by a combination of factors. One of the factors is the lack of another driver’s understanding on how to share the road with big trucks. Trucks are known to carry large cargos. It is possible that the cargo can shift and cause jackknifing and rollovers. Cargo that falls off the truck can cause accidents and it is extremely important for trucking companies to properly secure their load. Adverse weather conditions can contribute to 18-wheeler accidents. Braking and controlling a truck is difficult when there is ice on the road. Snow, rain and fog decrease visibility. Studies found that a large number of truck accidents involve inexperienced drivers. Mechanical problems are also a cause of truck accidents. Semi-trucks need much more maintenance, due to the constant long distances trucks travel. Trucks are required to be checked for mechanical problems regularly, but are still a cause of accidents.
INVESTIGATING A TRUCK ACCIDENT
There are many causes of truck accidents in Missouri. A Missouri truck accident lawyer will have to investigate the accident and determine what caused the accident and who is liable. Recovering compensation after a truck accident is difficult and you will need an experienced Missouri truck crash lawyer on your side. It is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the crash. Part of your attorney’s investigation is to take pictures of the scene and collect accident evidence. Your attorney will also help you obtain police records and evaluate all pieces of relevant evidence. Your rights should be represented. It is necessary to investigate the truck driver’s driving records, as well as the safety record of the trucking company. It is not unusual for evidence to get tampered with. You need legal representation on your side. Your priority as a victim of a truck accident is to recover physically and emotionally. A trucking accident lawyer’s priority is to see you recover for all of your harms and losses.
For information regarding Missouri truck accident law, contact Chris Dixon at 314-409-7060.