What are the 5 Frequent Causes of Trucking Accidents?


blue semi truck driving on the highway prior to an accident that required truck injury lawyers

As everyone places their online holiday orders, the trucking industry ramps up its cross country delivery schedule. With the increase of semi truck traffic on the highway, the chance of being involved in a trucking accident increases. According to the National Safety Council, the number of large-truck involvement in fatal crashes has jumped 18% since 2011 and fatalities from trucking accidents are up 20% in Missouri alone. Today, our truck accident lawyers are sharing the top five most frequent causes of trucking accidents to help you prepare as you take to the highways during high travel times.

1. Driver Error 

Our truck accident lawyers fight for the rights of many victims who experience a truck accident that causes a serious injury. Drivers who are ill, fatigued, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or are driving at excessive speeds are a large contributor in causing serious trucking accidents. 

A driver who drives too fast is one of the most common causes of trucking accidents — due to a higher chance for a loss of control from the sheer size and weight of trucks. Additionally, a driver should not operate a vehicle while they are ill, fatigued or under the influence. A driver experiencing any of these three conditions will experience reduced reaction times, decision making skills and even a loss of visibility, if he or she falls asleep. 

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a truck driver who carries property must follow hours-of-service regulations. These regulations state that drivers may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours of off duty, cannot drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, must take a 30 minute break when they have driven for a period of 8 cumulative hours without at least a 30-minute interruption and cannot drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. Exceeding these limits increases the driver’s risk for a crash from fatigue so drivers must abide by the rules and regulations in order to avoid a serious accident. 

2. Driver Inexperience 

In a recent 2022 report, the American Trucking Association reported the national truck driver shortage remains at an all-time high and estimates that there will be a need to recruit 1.2 million new drivers over the next ten years. However, the lack of truck drivers is not adequate justification to allow untrained and inexperienced drivers on the road.

All drivers and their subsequent companies must meet many federal regulation and requirements for truck driving. If they do not meet the requirements, do not have proper training and cause a trucking accident, the driver and their company may be held liable for the damages caused by a trucking accident. 

3. Equipment Failure

Defective equipment is one of the leading causes of trucking accidents in Missouri and Illinois. The common issues with defective equipment include improper maintenance, truck brake failure, defective tires, steering system defects or other critical truck components failing to work while a truck is in motion. 

In many cases, the truck driver will be held responsible for an accident since they should be conducting a thorough check of their truck and its equipment before embarking on a trip. However, a company that owns trucks may also be held at fault if it provides their driver with a faulty truck or requires them to use a faulty truck for their deliveries. Our truck accident lawyers are here to help you navigate all the possibilities after a trucking accident from defective equipment. 

4. Improper Cargo Loading

Most of the trucks you see on the highway are cargo carriers for household products, and sometimes the long delivery journey causes products to shift en route to their destination. However, all drivers and driving companies are responsible for making sure their loads are secured properly. Drivers must make sure their securement devices are working and the load limits on those securement devices are not maximized in order to avoid a trucking accident from products falling from truck beds or shifting the truck’s weight on turns. 

If cargo is not properly loaded or secured, the tractor trailer may end up causing devastation from cargo falling onto the road or from a serious jackknife or truck rollover accident. 

5. Inclement Weather Conditions

Driving during inclement weather is dangerous for any driver. However, those driving a semi truck need to exercise even more caution due to the significant weight and length of their tractor trailers. Section 392.14 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations requires drivers to exercise extreme caution when weather will adversely affect their visibility or vehicle’s traction. 

As one of the leading causes of trucking accidents, inclement weather may lead to multiple car pile ups, severe injury or fatalities if a driver neglects to assess the situation and pull over if their visibility is limited. 

Addressing the Causes of Trucking Accidents in Your Case

At Muchnick Haber Margolis, we know a serious trucking accident may leave you uneasy about the future. Our truck accident lawyers specialize in determining the liable parties at fault, collecting evidence to build your case and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. 

Place your case in the hands of MHM — contact our team today to determine the next steps in your case.