Fighting passionately to make your side of the story known.

5 common causes of semi-truck accidents

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Crashes involving semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles can result in devastating consequences. Frequently, people in the smaller vehicles have a significantly higher risk of injury and death when a passenger vehicle collides with a commercial vehicle like a semi-truck or 18-wheeler.

Members of the public, therefore, may benefit from proactively trying to avoid semi-truck collisions in particular. To do so, drivers need to understand what causes many of these collisions. The five issues below are responsible for a large portion of the semi-truck crashes that occur every year.

Alcohol intoxication

According to an analysis of 2021 commercial vehicle collision data, roughly 6.7% of the crashes that occurred involved a commercial driver who was over the legal limit for their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Roughly one in every 20 semi-truck collisions involves a drunk professional driver.

Driver distraction

Distracted driving does not just affect people headed to work or setting plans with their friends for the weekend. Long-haul truckers who spend hours away from their families every day may find digital communication very tempting despite clear federal rules against texting while driving. Admitted distracted driving scenarios and a failure to properly observe surroundings are among the top causes of semi-truck crashes.

Bad driving decisions

A commercial driver usually undergoes special training so that they know how to safely operate unwieldy and dangerous commercial trucks. Despite that extra training and special laws that apply to commercial traffic only, truck drivers do often make mistakes that directly contribute to crashes. For example, they might exceed the speed limit or drive unreasonably fast given weather conditions. Failing to leave enough space between vehicles or misjudging how to approach a turn at a tight intersection could also lead to crashes.

Driver non-performance

A small but concerning percentage of semi-truck collisions occur because a driver suddenly becomes incapable of performing their job. Sometimes, a driver falls asleep at the wheel. Other times, they may experience a medical event that incapacitates them. Heart attacks, strokes, asthma attacks and even allergic reactions could render someone incapable of safely driving a commercial truck.

Vehicle issues

Problems with the commercial truck itself can be the underlying cause of a semi-truck collision. Bad brakes, worn tires or improperly loaded cargo could all lead to a preventable crash caused by a semi-truck. The driver’s skill may not do enough to counter the dangerous state of the vehicle.

Unfortunately, the average motorist has very little control over the factors that contribute to commercial vehicle crashes. Seeking compensation after a crash through a lawsuit or insurance claim can be a reasonable reaction to a semi-truck wreck that likely occurred due to mistakes are negligence on the part of a commercial driver or their employer.