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Ten Most Common Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TexDot), there were more than 34,000 accidents involving commercial motor vehicles in 2016. These resulted in 584 fatalities and 1,426 incapacitating injuries. Statewide, tractor/semi-trailer trucks accounted for 403 fatal crashes.

Commercial tractor/semi-trailer trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and may need up to 100 yards to stop. When you take this into account, it’s easy to see that such vehicles have the potential to be extremely dangerous. Since you’re certain to occasionally find yourself on the road with these giants, it’s in your interest to understand the most common reasons for commercial motor vehicle accidents.

According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, an in-depth statistical study under taken by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the ten most common causes for commercial trucking accidents are:

Overweight vehicle – Overloading a vehicle reduces its emergency handling capability. Braking distance will increase, leading drivers to misjudge stopping distances. Tire failure rates are higher. In addition, loads that are overweight, overloaded, unbalanced, or shift while moving increase the likelihood that a driver may lose control of the vehicle.

Making illegal maneuver – Failure to obey traffic laws puts everyone on the road at risk. This is especially true for large commercial vehicles.

Inadequate surveillance – The height of the driver’s seat and the length of the trailer leave trucks with large blind spots, making it difficult to maintain a proper lookout.

Traveling too fast for conditions – The massive size and weight of commercial vehicles can make them more difficult to control and to stop. Failure to take this into account in operating speeds can lead to accidents.

Following too close – Commercial vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and may need up to 100 yards to stop. Failure to take this into account in adjusting following distance can lead to accidents.

Misjudgment of gap or other’s speed – Increased braking distance and magnified blind spots can make it difficult for commercial drivers to monitor other vehicles on the road, leading to accidents.

Stop required before crash – Failure to account for increased stopping distance can lead to accidents.

External distraction – Distracted driving is a major factor in all types of accidents.

Brake problems – Mechanical defects and failures, as well as improper maintenance of brakes are a leading cause of commercial vehicle accidents.

The vast majority of these factors are driver-related, involving inattention or poor judgment. Given the size of the vehicles involved, commercial vehicle accidents can be very severe, resulting in life changing injuries, or even death. These cases can be very technical and difficult to pursue, involving a complicated set of detailed facts and laws. Commercial vehicle accidents are best handled by an experienced personal injury attorney.

Driver logs, vehicle weight and electronic vehicle data are only some of the factual issues that come into play. A personal injury attorney can determine the important facts and will  understand how to investigate them.

The relationship between the driver and the company becomes an important issue. Drivers may operate either as independent contractors or employees. This is important because it can determine which parties are legally liable in the case. The laws for determining such relationships can be very complex. A personal injury attorney can unravel these issues to hold the correct parties responsible.

The commercial transportation industry is governed by both state and federal laws. This leaves such cases subject to a complicated web of rules. A knowledgeable attorney will understand these rules and pursue you case through the proper channels.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a commercial legal accident, seek experienced legal help!

Hire an experienced personal injury attorney today! 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident, you may be entitled to payments for personal injury or wrongful death. If you or a loved one has been injured in an oil field accident or oil drilling accident, you need an experienced lawyer that will fight for you. Maybe you have been involved in an on-the-job injury or accident. Frank Giunta can help.

To get started, give Attorney Frank Giunta a call at 1.800.515.7200. Get started right away with Frank Giunta & Giunta Law P.C. We are located in Dallas Fort Worth area but we practice throughout the United States.


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