As with any type of motor vehicle accident, there are many factors that can play a role in causing a trucking accident. Negligence on the part of a truck driver is often the reason accidents occur, but drivers can be victims as well.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the top ten most common factors that can lead to truck accidents include:
- Brake issues
- Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
- Prescription drug use
- Traveling at an unsafe speed for road conditions
- Lack of familiarity with the roadway
- Roadway problems
- Required to stop before a crash (traffic control device, crosswalk)
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Inadequate surveillance
It is important to note that truck drivers are usually paid by the load which means the more deliveries they can make the more money they can earn. This often leads to truck drivers pushing themselves to drive for long, extended hours. The lack of sleep, or substance abuse in order to stay up, can often impair a driver’s judgment and reactions, causing an accident.
Truck accidents can also be caused by issues other than driver error. Mechanical issues can occur when a truck is not properly maintained or regularly inspected which may lead to a driver losing control of the vehicle. Improper loading or overloading a semi-truck can also lead to an accident occurring.