What Can Cause a Big Truck Accident?

Big truck accidents happen often among drivers on major transportation hubs, and the results are usually no less than devastating. The effects of an accident with an 18-wheeler can be extreme when compared to a wreck involving another ordinary vehicle. In terms of a big truck or big rig, we mean 18-wheelers, dump trucks, chemical trucks, tractor-trailers, flatbeds, delivery trucks, coal trucks, and buses. Regardless of the type, they all take up substantial space on the road, overwhelming drivers with their monstrous sizes and weights.

Truck accidents can be caused by improper truck maintenance, overweight or improper loading, or additional factors on the fault of truck drivers, such as falsified log books, driver fatigue, and truck driver deadlines.

Improper Truck Maintenance

These enormous truck carriers have drastically more complex motor systems than your typical SUV, leading to common avoidance from routine maintenance checks by trucking companies and its employed drivers.

The following list states some hazardous problems due to improper truck maintenance:

  • Worn or broken brake pads and/or lines
  • Bald tires and worn axles
  • Cracked mirrors
  • Brake failure
  • Broken trailer latches
  • Eroded reflection tape
  • Broken lights
  • Missing mud flaps

These potential deficiencies create an unsafe driving space for other motorists, as poor maintenance can cause truck drivers to perform erratic and unpredictable maneuvers. For instance, if a truck’s mirrors are cracked or tail lights aren’t working under dark skies, both the driver and other vehicles are disadvantaged due to an inability to see one another along the highway. Shockingly enough, more than half of fatal truck accidents involved at least one equipment malfunction being overlooked or neglected.

Overweight or Improper Loading

Another repeated practice worth investigating after big rig accidents is the substantial liability that results from unsecured or improper loading. More often than not, truck-driving companies overload or quickly secure cargo in an attempt to make more money or save time. This form of negligence leads to a mass of causes for big truck accidents.

Here are a few loading situations that would easily hinder trucks from safe transporting:

  • Unsecured cargo and careless operating
  • Improperly contained hazardous cargo
  • Worn or broken tarps and ties, loosening cargo
  • Unbalanced loads which reduce maneuverability
  • Freed cargo falling out onto the road
  • Inclement weather, challenging heavy weight
  • Overloading, increasing brake distance
  • Uneven distribution of flammable materials

All of these factors would greatly determine the outcome of a crash and threats to surrounding drivers. Many types of truck accidents can arise from improper loading and careless driving, including but not limited to, jackknife hits, rollover accidents, wide turn collisions, and possibly the worst of all, underride accidents. These crashes with a big truck can lead to horrendous results for the people involved, mostly due to risky loading techniques and driver errors.

common causes of big truck accidents

Falsified Log Books, Deadlines, and Driver’s Fatigue

Apart from poor truck maintenance and improper loading, wrecks involving an 18-wheeler, or another big rig, occur from a multitude of additional factors, on the fault of truck drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) requires regular recordings from truck drivers in a log book that documents driving times, rest breaks, cargo weight, and other relevant information from their shifts.

Unfortunately, some records are falsified, violating their regulations, which pins liability on both the trucker and the trucking company. When a truck driver falsely documents their driving time to meet a deadline or stretch their hours for higher pay, truck driver fatigue becomes evermore probable in such conditions. The driver is strongly prone to nodding off or even falling asleep behind the wheel of a multi-ton truck. As you can imagine, this means severe risks for people operating vehicles near a big truck.

Call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys

The Get Gordon Team understands the brevity of these cases and promises to fully stand by you through what could be the hardest fight of your life. Whether the accident resulted from an excessive freight load or faulty equipment, our truck accident lawyers will relentlessly investigate and defend your case.

If you call our team directly following the accident, our personal injury attorneys will arrive at the scene to acquire crucial evidence in order to best defend your case. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, trust our expert injury attorneys to help you during this excruciating time and let us fight for you in court.