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Top Ten Truck Accident Causes and Factors

February 5, 2020  |  

Accidents involving a commercial truck can have far more serious outcomes than those related to passenger vehicles only, which makes perfect sense when you consider the size and weight of a typical semi-truck. When a standard passenger vehicle is pitted against a far larger and heavier semi-truck, there’s virtually no question as to which will lose the battle.

Interestingly, the factors that contribute to semi-truck accidents are often much different than those that cause standard automobile accidents. According to a 2018 article by the Kansas City Star, even though there was a decrease in overall highway accident fatalities in 2017, the number of fatal semi-truck crashes is still increasing at a worrisome rate. In the eyes of many truck accident attorneys and experts, this rise may be correlated to the unique factors associated with semi-truck accidents.

Semi-Truck Accident Factors

Recent statistics released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reveal a disturbing trend: 87 percent of truck accidents were caused by the driver, while just a combined 13 percent were related to vehicle issues or the environment. Truck driver errors or performance are a common cause of accidents involving semi-trucks, though other factors can also contribute.

The top 10 truck accident factors, in order of their frequency of occurrence, are as follows:

  1. Brake problems with the semi-truck
  2. Interruptions in the flow of traffic
  3.  A driver under the influence of prescription drugs
  4. A truck driver who is traveling at too high a rate of speed for the conditions
  5. A driver who is unfamiliar with the roadway
  6. Issues with the road (i.e. potholes)
  7. A failure to stop before a crash (i.e. at a crosswalk or traffic light)
  8. Over-the-counter drug use by the truck driver
  9. A driver’s inadequate surveillance
  10. Driver fatigue

The FMCSA examined hundreds of factors that can contribute to accidents involving semi-trucks and found that the list above were the most commonly occurring. While other incidents, such as a medical emergency or poor decision-making, often impact the risk of a serious accident, the ten factors named above were the most frequently associated by far.

For the drivers and passengers of standard vehicles, one careless decision on the part of a semi-truck driver can result in a life-altering accident, or even death. It is important that both truck drivers and carriers are held responsible for doing their part to keep the roads safe, as well as resolving accidents for which they are at fault, especially when they are in charge of wielding vehicles weighing thousands of pounds.

Meet with an Experienced Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer from Palmer Law

If you’ve been involved in a semi-truck accident in Kansas, you already know that the effects can be devastating – but you don’t have to shoulder the burden alone. With the right truck accident attorney on your side, you can pursue the rightful compensation you need to pay for medical expenses, missed work, and even permanent, life-altering effects. Palmer Law attorneys have decades of combined experience in representing the victims of truck accidents in Kansas, serving diligently as legal advocates both in the court and throughout the entire process.

Whether you’re the victim of a semi-truck accident or are seeking justice on behalf of a loved one, the Topeka accident lawyers from Palmer Law can help you achieve the best possible outcome. We’ll make sure that you feel confident every step of the way and have the benefit of an expert attorney on your side.

For more information, contact us to schedule your consultation with Palmer Law today.

Photo credit: Shutterstock / By Volodymyr Baleha