Collisions with large trucks are relatively rare when compared with the frequency of crashes that involve only smaller passenger vehicles. Still, driving on Interstate 40 in the Jackson area can be dangerous when 18-wheelers are on the road.
After all, a fully loaded 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, while a passenger car weighs only around 3,000 pounds. This is why semitruck crashes are so devastating — and why truck drivers and trucking companies are held to a higher standard of safety than drivers of smaller vehicles.
What are the common causes of semi truck accidents?
1. Truck drivers and trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that their trucks are properly maintained. Still, mechanical problems and poor maintenance are common causes of truck accidents. A related issue is improper loading, which also can cause serious accidents.
2. Truck driver fatigue is a problem that has gotten increased attention in recent years, as multiple fatal wrecks have been attributed to fatigue resulting from drivers’ failure to take required breaks. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets limits on truck drivers’ hours of service. However, truck drivers are under pressure to get their loads to their destinations as soon as possible, and this pressure leads some drivers to break the rules and try to drive drowsily. The consequences can be devastating.
3. Distracted driving is a problem that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, as distracted driving accidents have been on the rise in Tennessee and nationwide. This is a problem in the trucking industry, as well. Mobile devices and GPS apps cause more distractions now than ever before — and the same goes for distraction among truck drivers.
4. Speeding causes many trucking accidents, as does failure to slow down when approaching traffic congestion. If you have driven much on I-40 or the highways in the Jackson area, you have likely witnessed speeding trucks putting others’ lives at risk.
Truck accident investigations tend to be far more complex than other crash investigations.
Why? The trucking industry is heavily regulated, so careful investigation may be necessary to determine exactly what caused the crash: fatigue, hours-of-service violations, poor truck maintenance or another issue.
Insurance issues in truck accidents are also complex, as multiple parties may be liable. These parties include the trucking company, the truck driver, the truck manufacturer and the truck loader.
If you have been harmed in a truck accident, do not hesitate to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case. A truck accident lawyer can investigate your case and help you get the compensation you need and deserve — all while you focus on healing.