How Can Truck Accidents Be Prevented?

Truck accidents can be prevented by understanding–and then addressing–the various factors that can cause or contribute to an accident. Some of these factors are drowsy, distracted, intoxicated, and reckless driving. Driving without appropriate licensing, speeding, driving aggressively, and driving overtime at work are also common causes of truck accidents. All of these factors are forms of negligent driving. Other causes of truck accidents include vehicle malfunctions, other road users’ mistakes, damaged roads, inclement weather, and poor lighting. Truck drivers, service teams, business operators, cargo teams, and others must all be vigilant in maintaining truck fleets and ensuring that they are safe for operation on the road. Truck drivers must also follow safe driving rules to prevent a truck accident from occurring.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents killed over 4,700 people in 2017, as per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Details of the common causes of truck accidents are outlined below.

Service and Maintenance Issues

Inadequate vehicle servicing, a complete failure to inspect and maintain vehicles, and inadvertent mistakes made while performing vehicle maintenance are amongst the top causes of truck accidents in the United States. Truck drivers, truck owners, business owners involved in trucking, and service and maintenance specialists are responsible for the regular upkeep of trucks.

Negligence and Driving Errors

There are many ways that negligence and errors can cause a truck accident. The consumption of alcohol and drugs— even drugs that may be legal, such as prescription medications or medical marijuana— can lead to drowsiness and affect a trucker’s ability to react to changes in road conditions or respond to dangers on the road ahead. Other forms of dangerous and negligent driving include tailgating, making quick and sudden lane changes, and speeding. Some truckers even take illegal performance-enhancing drugs to stay awake for longer, even though doing so can substantially increase their chances of having an accident. Overwork on the road can be dangerous, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has hours or services regulations that restrict how much a driver may drive in a given period. Not having the requisite experience to operate a truck of a certain size or weight and poor hiring practices combined with limited background checks and inadequate driver training can also cause or contribute to an accident. Finally, driving without a license, not performing important service checks, using low-quality materials or parts, either for servicing or as a part for your vehicle, can also lead to an accident, especially if a part breaks down while you are in motion on the road.

Environmental Issues

Inclement weather, poor visibility, and rain, snow, or fog can hamper your ability to see and control your vehicle. Ice and slick or slippery surfaces can also lead to an accident, as can damaged roads, road debris, traffic control signs or signals that are missing or are not working, and unclear lane markings or reflectors.

Fault and Liability for Truck Accidents

Depending on the factors that caused or contributed to your truck accident, you may be able to hold one or more of the following parties liable for damages:
  • The truck driver
  • The truck owner
  • A trucking company
  • Another car driver
  • Service/maintenance technicians
  • Parts manufacturers
  • Government offices
You can hold a truck driver liable for your damages after an accident if the driver was somehow negligent and their negligence provably led to the accident you were involved in. If you can prove that the driver was driving in such a manner, you can hold them liable for damages. If, however, your accident was caused by road damage, a government office, such as a local municipality, may be liable for not having repaired the road damage that caused your accident. Similarly, if a part’s failure or poor servicing is identified as the cause of your accident, you can hold the relevant parts manufacturer or the team that serviced the truck liable for damages.

Truck Accident Injuries

Maryland is an at-fault state. You can sue for damages if you were harmed by the actions of another party. Truck accidents can lead to catastrophic damages. Physical injuries can be very expensive to treat, and you may wish to file a claim for compensation after suffering injuries in an accident. Common injuries seen in truck accident cases include:
  • Head injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Nerve damage
  • Muscle damage
  • Amputations
  • Cuts, abrasions, and lacerations
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Varying degrees of paralysis
  • Death

Contact Us Today

To learn more about how truck accidents occur, how truck accidents can be prevented, and how fault, liability, and damages for truck accidents are determined, contact the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow today at (410) 777-8960 for a free consultation. Our team can walk you through everything you need to know about your case, and we can help you seek compensation if your case warrants a claim.