According to Truckinfo.net, about 5,000 people are killed in truck accidents annually in the United States. Understanding what causes commercial truck accidents can aid in preventing them. To help pinpoint the most common causes of truck accidents, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), completed a large truck crash causation study. The agencies investigated a total of 967 crashes involving 1,127 large trucks, 959 non-truck motor vehicles, 251 fatalities and 1,408 injuries.
In its executive summary of the large truck crash causation study, the FMCSA reports that nearly 30 percent of the trucks involved in crashes experienced brake problems. Brake failure can result from:
While brake failure contributes to a significant number of commercial truck accidents, tire failure can also cause a large truck to crash. As such, it is important for trucking companies to properly maintain tires and to stay abreast of tire recalls, just as it is important for truck drivers to perform pre-trip tire inspections. Maintenance mistakes that can lead to a tire blowout on a commercial truck include:
If the truck accident that caused your injuries was the result of brake or tire failure, you may be entitled to compensation from the truck driver, the trucking company and/or the auto part manufacturer. An experienced Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney can advise you of your legal rights.
While some truck accidents are caused by defective auto parts, most are caused by driver error. According to the FMCSA’s congressional report concerning the large truck crash causation study, “an action or inaction by the drivers of the truck or the other vehicles involved were important reasons leading to crashes in a large majority of the cases.”
As revealed by the large truck crash causation study, some of the most common truck driver errors that contribute to accidents are:
However, non-truck drivers cause truck accidents too. In fact, in the large truck crash causation study, the passenger vehicle was the critical reason for the crash in 56 percent of accidents involving a large truck and passenger vehicle. Just like truck drivers, motorists can become fatigued, make illegal or dangerous maneuvers, drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, become distracted, drive too fast, or react improperly to hazardous situations.
If you have been injured in any type of transportation accident, or if your loved one was killed in one, contact a qualified Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyer today to learn more about personal injury and wrongful death claims.