Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents

Every year, thousands of accidents involving semi-truck and other commercial vehicles result in the tragic loss of life across the country. While these types of accidents are an unfortunate fact of life on our highways, the results are often catastrophic and victims and family members are left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath.

When semi-truck accidents occur, victims may be left with many questions including how and why these types of things happen in the first place. The issue is one of an ongoing study by state and federal regulators but there have emerged a number of studies that shed light on the causes of these often catastrophic accidents.

Federal truck accident studies

Federal investigators studying the issues associated with semi-truck crashes have identified numerous causes of truck accidents as well as common outcomes of these events. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, factors such as driver fatigue, alcohol, and speed often increase the risk of commercial vehicle accidents.

A 2007 federal trucking study analyzed data from a 33-month period that included 963 crashes involving 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles. That study contained some sobering statistics all drivers should take note of.

The study found that of the 963 truck crashes analyzed:

  • 1,123 large trucks and 959 automobiles were involved;
  • 249 and 1,654 injuries resulted from the accidents; and
  • 77 percent involved commercial vehicles pulling semi-trailers.

Three main types of accidents were discovered.

  • Running out of the travel lane – 32 percent
  • Loss of control due to speed – 29 percent
  • Rear end collisions – 22 percent

Further analysis revealed some of the prevailing factors of how the crashes occurred. This included:

  • Brake problems (29 percent)
  • Driving too fast for conditions (23 percent)
  • Unfamiliar with roadways (22 percent)
  • Highway conditions (20 percent)
  • Prescription drug use (17 percent)
  • Fatigue (13 percent)
  • Pressure from employers to make time (10 percent)

While some of these causes are not due the truck driver or employer, there are many that result from negligence on their part. In these situations, victims may have legal recourse to hold these careless parties accountable for their actions.

We are here to help

When 18-wheeler injuries and accident occur, victims may be able to collect compensation if the accident were due in part to negligence by the truck driver or the trucking company. Our experienced Minnesota truck accident attorneys regularly represent the legal interests of semi-truck accident victims and are fully prepared to handle the complexities of such cases. Contact our office, by calling 888-596-6049, for a consultation about your case. Our office serves clients throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin

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