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Common Causes of Truck Accidents

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Posted By Legal Team | April 27 2023 | Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are some of the most devastating crashes on the roadways. When a fully loaded, 40-ton 18-wheeler truck collides with a 4,000-pound personal vehicle, the results can be catastrophic. In fault-based insurance law states like Georgia, it’s essential to investigate all aspects of a truck accident to determine fault and liability. Because determining liability in commercial truck accidents can become complex, since the driver, the trucking company, the truck’s maintenance service, freight loading services, or the truck’s manufacturer could be at fault, Atlanta truck collision lawyers representing injury victims often have to investigate thoroughly all circumstances of the accident to determine the cause of the crash and the party at fault.

Driver Error Causes the Majority of Truck Accidents

Driving a large, loaded commercial truck safely requires training and experience. Large trucks have longer stopping distances and larger blind spots. They also make wider turns compared to standard vehicles. With fairly large employee turnover rates, hiring practices may suffer at some companies, resulting in inadequately trained drivers. Some of the most common causes of driver errors resulting in crashes include:

  • Driver fatigue from driving beyond the regulated limits
  • Driver distraction through cell phones and GPS
  • Drivers navigating unfamiliar roadways
  • Speeding and under-estimating curves, resulting in roll-overs
  • Driver intoxication
  • Failure to adjust driving to weather conditions
  • Aggressive driving/tailgating
  • Failure to address blind spots when making lane changes
  • Failure to adhere to traffic laws

When truck drivers aren’t alert, vigilant, and respectful of all traffic laws, disaster can result. There were 234 fatalities from truck accidents in Georgia in 2020 alone.

Improper Freight Loading 

Commercial trucks often must carry large, unwieldy loads. These loads must be carefully loaded in a truck’s trailer in a way that’s balanced. Improperly loaded trucks can significantly increase the truck’s chances of tipping over. Failure to secure loads properly can also result in freight falling out of the back of the truck which causes extreme hazards on the roadway. Improperly distributed load weights inside a truck may make it more difficult to steer and maneuver around curves.

Failure to Properly Inspect and Maintain

Shredding tires, blowouts, brake malfunctions, loose or jackknifing trailers, and other mechanical failures, are all common causes of truck accidents. Before a commercial truck sets out on the roads, the driver bears the duty of inspecting the truck’s serviceability, including examining tire quality and making a report. The trucking company must promptly address and correct all issues before the truck can set out to deliver freight. Often, the trailer and freight inspections fall under the responsibility of a different entity completely for routine safety inspections. Any identified problems must be addressed and corrected before a trucker embarks on their journey. If a poorly maintained truck causes an accident, an attorney may need to investigate the circumstances of the accident and the truck’s inspection and maintenance records to determine liability. If a defective auto part went unnoticed and caused a truck accident, an experienced product liability lawyer in Atlanta can help determine liability in this case.

Hiring Inexperienced Drivers

Frequent employee turnover and lack of qualified applicants sometimes result in trucking companies with inexperienced or underqualified drivers. When inexperienced drivers are hurtling down the road with 80,000 pounds of commercial trucks, the results can cause great harm. Trucking companies bear the responsibility of ensuring they hire only experienced drivers with clean driving records.

An Atlanta truck accident attorney can answer your questions about an at-fault driver’s actions, or negligence as well as determine the likelihood of recovering damages.

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