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Uncovering the causes of truck accidents

Semi-trucks present a daily hazard on streets and highways throughout Missouri. Here are some of the most common causes of accidents involving 18-wheelers and other large commercial trucks. By better understanding their causes, we may be able to reduce their deadly impact.

Impaired drivers

Most truck drivers are responsible citizens, but not all. When a driver operates a large commercial truck while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he or she puts every other life on the road at risk.

The pressures of the truck driving occupation can lead to substance abuse. In some cases, truckers may feel they must take amphetamines or other illicit substances just to keep up with the demands of the job.

Tired drivers

Not all impairments are the result of substance abuse. Fatigue is a serious issue that restricts a truck driver’s ability to pay attention and react to hazards on the road. According to a study on crash causation conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 13% of truck drivers were considered fatigued at the time of an accident they were involved in. In some of these cases, the trucking company can also be held liable if supervisors pressure drivers to operate their vehicles while exhausted.

Distracted driving

Distractions come in many forms, from texting while driving to operating a radio, GPS system or other device. In the time it takes to send or read a text message, a truck moving at highways speeds can travel the length of a football field. Whether traffic is busy or not, this is more than enough time for tragedy to strike.

Maintenance and loading

Trucks must be loaded property and in optimal condition to ensure safe travel on the road. Some common safety hazards include:

  • Faulty brakes
  • Faulty steering
  • Inadequate lights and reflectors
  • Unbalanced loads

Victims of truck accidents deserve answers. How did this happen? Who is to blame? By getting answers to these questions, a person who has suffered a serious injury or lost a loved one due to trucking negligence can seek justice and a potential financial recovery.