Trusted Injury Trial Lawyers That You Can Rely On

What are common causes of 18-wheeler accidents?

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2024 | Personal Injury

For many drivers, the sight of an 18-wheeler or other large commercial truck on the road inspires a certain amount of anxiety – accompanied by an effort to get some distance away from it, if possible. There’s good reason for that, of course. Collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles can be catastrophic, particularly for those traveling in smaller vehicles.

We’ve all seen the results of these collisions, whether on the news or passing by in the aftermath of one. There’s no one primary cause, but there are a handful of common causes.

Driver fault

Despite strict government regulations around how many hours commercial operators can be on the road consecutively, truck drivers still experience fatigue as well as distraction. Alcohol impairment is a problem for some, as well. Lack of training can also hinder a driver’s ability to respond to even common situations -– let alone unusual challenges.

Speeding is also a serious problem. Often, this happens because of pressure to meet deadlines. Heavy traffic can put them behind. It should be no surprise that about two-thirds of fatal truck crashes happen during daytime hours (6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.), when most highways and interstates are busiest. Bad weather can also slow them down, leaving them pushing past speed limits to catch up once they can.

The size and weight of the trucks

Massive vehicles require more room to turn, take longer to bring to a stop and have large blind spots All of these things can lead to crashes with other vehicles.

The weight of their cargo only adds to their lack of maneuverability. Beyond that, if cargo isn’t properly loaded, it can cause an imbalance, shift during travel and even fall off onto the road. Even unloading a truck can be problematic – particularly when there’s liquid cargo – because it can move back and forth with turns, stops and sudden movements.

When a commercial truck causes a crash, it’s not uncommon for various parties to try to shift blame to each other. That includes truck drivers, their employers, truck manufacturers and even those in charge of loading the vehicles. One or more of these parties may have liability when it comes to any particular crash scenario. Seeking experienced legal guidance can help victims and families who have to face this blame shifting as they seek justice and compensation.