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What are frequent causes of truck accidents?

When it comes to large truck accidents, we can all agree that they outrank most accidents in severity and fatalities. The size and power behind these large 18-wheelers, when driving at high speeds, can easily cause devastation in a collision.

What are some of the main causes of large truck accidents?

Equipment failure is listed as one main cause. It takes a lot of parts working together to operate a heavy truck engine, and if one part is functioning improperly, it can cause the vehicle to be uncontrollable. Because of the weight, amount of use and speed put on tires, it is no wonder the trucks require 18 wheels; however, a blown tire can throw a truck completely off-balance and out of control.

Defective parts in a collision, and that includes tires, may result in a liability for the trucking company, the manufacturer of the defective equipment or even the mechanic if they made a mistake during repairs. If the defective equipment is found to be the direct cause of an accident, or even partial cause, where injuries have occurred, one or more of these parties may be held liable in a personal injury case.

Truck driver error is another common cause of truck accidents. We commonly hear about truck drivers who fell asleep at the wheel because they failed to follow federal guidelines as to the length of time they could be on the road without resting. It is not always completely their fault either, as some companies set unrealistic schedules forcing their drivers to do whatever it takes to meet the deadlines. Tight schedules also puts extra stress and fatigue on drivers.

In addition, some drivers are improperly trained. Driving a big rig truck requires specialized training, which can not be learned as "on-the-job" training. Proper loading and balancing of trucks is an important part of training. An improperly loaded truck can cause the trailer to sway and eventually flip over.

Large trucks must be handled with care and all safety procedures taken. The lives of each truck driver on the road, as well as all other drivers and passengers in their path are at stake when proper precautions are not taken.

Source: UnsafeTrucks.org, "Common Causes of Truck Accidents," accessed April. 16, 2015

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