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What Are The Most Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents?

July 26, 2019
common causes of semi-truck accidents Pittsburgh, PA

Dangers of Semi-Truck Accidents

Semi-trucks are a big part of our nation’s economy, and you see them on the roads at all times of the day and throughout the year. They also cause thousands of accidents every year. There are a number of factors that make these accidents more dangerous, including:

  • The sheer size of the semi-truck compared to a regular passenger vehicle
  • Long hours on the road that are often demanded by truck companies

Here are the most common causes of crashes when a semi-truck is involved.

The Statistics

Nearly 70% of America’s goods are transported by truck, and make up a large portion of the US economy. Over 15 million commercial trucks operate on the road every year, with over 2 million of those being tractor-trailer semis. These tractor-trailer semis cause most of the fatal accidents, around 65% every year, with over 5,000 passenger car riders dying and 700 truck drivers losing their lives in these awful accidents.

Driver Fatigue & Distracted Driving

Being tired or distracted on the road is dangerous for any driver, but when it’s a truck driver, the consequences can be severe. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made it a point of emphasis over recent years to bring attention to driving drowsy, as evidence shows that it can impair the vehicle’s operator much in the way drugs and alcohol do. Commercial truck drivers often have to drive thousands of miles in a span of just a few days, or are paid by the mile, so there is a financial incentive for them to keep driving when they’d rather stop. There are federal regulations that dictate how long a truck driver should be behind the wheel per day, and how often to take breaks for rest. However, not all companies or drivers abide by these rules, and driver fatigue is still a common cause of accidents. Distracted driving is a rising problem, too, with cell phones being the most common cause. Anything that takes a driver’s focus away from the task at hand, whether it’s being too tired or paying attention to something other than the road, can result in truck accidents.

Vehicle Maintenance 

Improper care of the maintenance of a commercial truck is an accident waiting to happen. Due to the sheer size of a semi-truck, bad brakes, balding tires, and engine malfunctions can create a much more dangerous situation than with smaller vehicles. Just like with driver’s regulations, there are federal rules for keeping these trucks in safe working order including regular maintenance and brake checks.

Driver Inexperience

Being a commercial truck driver requires a commercial driving license and special training. Companies are often in a rush to get drivers behind the wheel to meet deadlines that they sometimes rush the training process and put an employee in a vehicle before they are completely ready. Driving a big truck is different from driving a normal passenger car. If you don’t know what you are doing you can put yourself and others at risk while on the road.

Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Case Today!

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in a semi-truck accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Berger and Lagnese represent clients injured in semi-truck accidents throughout Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, Beaver, Uniontown, Greensburg, New Castle, Altoona, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at 412-471-4300 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 310 Grant Street Suite 720, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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