A motor vehicle accident involving passenger vehicles can cause serious injuries to the occupants of the involved vehicles; however, when a tractor-trailer or other large truck is involved, the chance of suffering life-threatening, even fatal, injuries increases dramatically. In the United States, we depend heavily on large trucks to transport supplies and merchandise throughout the country. Unfortunately, the presence of these mammoths of the roadway puts everyone else sharing the roadway at risk. As a victim of a trucking accident you may find yourself asking the question “ What are the common causes of trucking accidents? ”
Most tractor-trailer drivers are conscientious and skilled drivers; however, that does not mean they are immune to causing an accident. Common causes of trucking accidents include:
- Drowsy driving – despite federal rules limiting the number of hours a truck driver is allowed to legally remain behind the wheel without a rest period, some drivers ignore those rules in an effort to make tight delivery schedules or to earn more money. Often, this leads to a driver who is fatigued and should not be behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound vehicle.
- Distracted driving – federal law also prohibits operators of large trucks from texting while driving. However, that does not always prevent drivers who have been away from loved ones for days from trying to communicate via some type of electronic device. Drivers also routinely use GPS devices or even watch in-cab movies while driving — all of which can cause a driver to be distracted and cause an accident.
- Speed/aggressive driving – it takes a semi-truck the length of a football field to come to a complete stop when driving at highway speeds. A driver who is driving too fast for road conditions, following too closely, or who is weaving in and out of traffic can easily cause a collision if traffic conditions suddenly change up ahead.
- Impaired driving – although the use of illicit drugs among truck drivers has decreased over the past several decades, a new problem has emerged – prescription and over-the-counter medications. A driver who is impaired by any type of medication is a danger to everyone else on the roadway.
- Equipment failure – truck drivers are required to perform a walk-around vehicle inspection every time they set off on a route. In addition, a full inspection is required on a regular basis to ensure that the vehicle is safe. Drivers and trucking companies, however, often put off these inspections in an effort to save time. Even a relatively small malfunction can have catastrophic results when the malfunction is on an 18 wheeler.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident in Louisiana you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact the Louisiana trucking accident injury attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 855-231-6873 to schedule your appointment today.