How Do Truck Accidents Happen?

March 30, 2023 | Truck Accidents

Accidents involving larger commercial trucks often result in significant injuries for those involved. Even though commercial truck activity is strictly regulated by both state and federal authorities, these incidents are not uncommon. Here, we want to review some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Texas.

Examining Crash Data – Common Truck Crash Causes

When we examine the information available from the National Safety Council, we can see that there were 4,842 total large trucks involved in fatal collisions during the most recent reporting year on file. The data also shows that there were more than 100,000 large trucks involved in injury collisions during that same reporting year. When examining the overall trends, we can see that the number of fatal and injury collisions involving trucks has tended to rise upward year over year, with the exception of 2020, when the pandemic began.

Data from the Texas Department of Transportation shows that the state recorded more than 38,000 commercial vehicle collisions during the most recent reporting year. However, what do you need to mention is that this figure includes all commercial vehicles, not just larger trucks. 

Some of the most common causes of large truck collisions in Texas include:

Distracted Driving

Operating any vehicle while distracted sets up a potential for a serious accident, but operating a large commercial truck while distracted could result in catastrophic injuries and property damage. Distracted driving often happens when drivers watch their phones or some other device while operating the vehicle.

Fatigued Driving

The hours of service requirements for truck drivers are closely regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and these regulations stipulate drivers are only allowed to operate a specified number of hours each day and during the overall work week. Violating these regulations increases the chances that a driver will operate the vehicle while fatigued.

Intoxicated Driving

The allowable legal blood alcohol content for truck drivers is 04%, which is half of the allowable limit for regular drivers. Operating a large truck while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs significantly increases the chance that a major accident will occur.

Reckless Driving

Every truck driver is responsible for following traffic laws and every regulation set forth by state and federal authorities related to the safe operation of these larger vehicles. Failing to stop at stop signs or stop lights, failing to yield the right of way, speeding, and following others too closely are all signs of reckless driving.

Inadequate Vehicle Maintenance

 Every commercial truck that operates across state lines must be regularly inspected and maintained, per requirements set forth by the FMCSA. These inspections are critical to ensure the safe operation of the vehicle. Additionally, every driver is supposed to perform an inspection of the truck before each trip.

Inappropriate Cargo Loading

Cargo must be properly loaded onto commercial trucks, and failing to do so could result in a significant accident. Improperly loaded cargo could inadvertently shift the weight balance of the truck, making the vehicle hard to drive. Additionally, improperly secured cargo could come off of the truck either inside of a trailer or off of an exposed bed, leading to an accident.

Lack of Proper Training or Negligent Hiring Practices

Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring every driver is properly certified before they begin working or that they provide adequate training for the driver if they are new or lack experience. 

What To Do If You Are Injured From A Truck Accident

If you were injured in a truck accident, the Austin truck accident attorneys at Bonilla Injury Law can help you fight for the compensation you are owed. Contact us today for a free consultation.