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Common causes of semitruck crashes

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Semitruck crashes can result devastating consequences, often involving multiple vehicles and serious injuries. Because of the massive size and considerable weight of semitrucks, they can significantly damage smaller vehicles.

Understanding the causes of these accidents is critical for everyone on the roads, including those who hope to prevent accidents and those who have already been injured as a result of such collisions.

Trucker actions

One of the most common causes of semitruck crashes is driver fatigue. Truck drivers often face long hours on the road with insufficient rest, leading to decreased alertness and slower reaction times. Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or certain medications can severely impair a trucker’s judgment, coordination and reaction time as well. They may not be able to avoid crashing into other vehicles because of this.

Distractions such as using a mobile phone, eating or using in-cab technology can take a driver’s focus off the road, increasing the risk of an accident. In only five seconds, a semitruck moving 55 miles per hour will go the full length of a football field. That’s a long distance for the rig to move without sufficient control by its operator.

Trucking company policies

Some trucking companies may fail to provide adequate training for their drivers on safe driving practices, truck handling and emergency procedures. They’ll often impose tight deadlines, encouraging drivers to hurry, sometimes at the expense of safety. This may lead to speeding or not taking necessary rest breaks. Trucking companies are also responsible for the maintenance of their fleet. Neglecting regular checks and repairs can lead to mechanical failures, which can be a critical contributor to the cause(s) of crashes.

Cargo Issues

If cargo is not correctly loaded and secured, it can shift during transit, causing a truck to become unbalanced and increasing the risk of a rollover or loss of control. Carrying more weight than a truck is designed to handle is another problem because it can affect braking and control, making it difficult for the driver to maneuver the truck safely.

Victims of these crashes may suffer catastrophic injuries that necessitate emergency medical care. They may then opt to pursue a compensation claim to help offset the financial damages they’ve suffered, but must be done within the time limits set by Georgia law.