Common Causes of Truck Crashes That Injure Motorists


Common Causes of Truck Crashes That Injure Motorists

Careless Drivers and Poorly Maintained Trucks Cause Crashes

Each year, over 4,000 people are killed and 100,000 people are injured in crashes involving semi-trucks across the United States. Not surprisingly, only 17 percent of the fatalities and 26 percent of the injuries are suffered by the truck drivers and their passengers. The large majority of those affected by truck crashes are the occupants of other vehicles. Given these statistics, it is important to understand what leads to these deadly crashes.

When Fault Is Assigned to the Trucker, It Is Often for These Reasons

According to an analysis of truck crash data conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck drivers are at fault in single- and multiple-vehicle crashes around 55 percent of the time. Of those incidents, 87 percent are due to some kind of driver error and 10 percent are caused by a malfunction with the truck itself. This means that half the time a truck crash occurs, the truck driver is directly to blame for the crash. The most frequent causes, according to FMCSA, include:

  • Driver decision-making. In 38 percent of truck-driver caused crashes, a poor decision by the driver was to blame. This includes actions such as driving too fast for conditions, misjudging the speed of other vehicles, or following other vehicles too closely.
  • Driver distraction. Driver inattention or distractions caused by something inside or outside the vehicle accounted for 28 percent of crashes.
  • Driver non-performance. Falling asleep at the wheel, suffering a heart attack or seizure, or some other physical impairment explained another 12 percent of driver-caused crashes.
  • Driver performance. Drivers making critical errors such as panicking, overcompensating, or exercising poor directional control accounted for 9 percent of crashes.

Some of the factors leading to these errors include prescription and over-the-counter drug use, fatigue, speed, and inattention.

In the 10 percent of crashes caused by a problem with the truck itself, the leading factors were the following:

  • Cargo shift
  • Brake problems
  • Tire problems

If You Were the Victim of a Truck Crash, Call Now

Given the devastation at the scene of a truck crash, it is often not easy for responding officers to determine fault. William Enoch Andrews is well aware of the various ways a truck driver can cause an accident that leaves motorists seriously injured, permanently disabled, and worse. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a truck crash on a Utah highway, contact his office now. He will make sure the responsible truck driver and trucking company are held responsible.