The Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents

When you’re involved in a major truck accident, especially as the driver of a passenger car, the results can be devastating. Most vehicles can’t withstand the force of a massive truck collision, making truck and tractor trailer accidents far more likely to end in injury or death than the average accident.

Like all accidents, truck crashes are caused by an array of complex factors. While there’s usually no singular cause for a given accident, there are some patterns that emerge from the data. At Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP, our experienced truck accident lawyers understand these patterns, and can help you understand where the responsibility lies after a major truck accident.


According to a study performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 120,000 of the injury and fatal crashes that took place over a 33-month period involved at least one large truck. Year over year, the data shows that fatal and injury-causing crashes with large trucks, 18-wheelers, and tractor trailers continue to increase.

Here are some of the most common factors involved in truck accidents:

  • Truck driver fatigue. Driver fatigue is the single most common factor in truck accident cases. Facing a nationwide truck driver shortage and more delivery services running day and night, truck drivers may be pressured by their carrier companies to push their physical limits, even though federal law mandates drivers stop after 14 consecutive hours.
  • Alcohol and drug use. Truck driving is a stressful and dangerous occupation, and while some drivers are well-compensated and treated with respect, many others turn to readily-available substances like methamphetamines as a coping mechanism. Even so, there’s no excuse for driving under the influence, which causes approximately 35% of all truck accidents.
  • Overspeeding. When driving a massive vehicle like a tractor trailer, it’s difficult to gauge your true speed – or how long it will take to stop. Speeding and “overtaking” smaller cars can prevent truck drivers from seeing other drivers until it’s too late.
  • Driver distraction. Texting, talking on the phone, and other forms of distraction play an increasing role in highway accidents. Truck drivers are even more vulnerable to distraction, as long hours on the road may make them careless.
  • Faulty parts and poor maintenance. Although truck drivers are required to perform regular maintenance checks, mounting pressure from carrier companies can make drivers inclined to skip these stops altogether. Failing to notice a faulty part or properly care for a truck can result in horrific collisions.

If any of the factors above played a role in your accident, the truck driver or truck carrier company could be considered responsible for your injuries. This is because they have a significant “duty of care” to prevent others’ injuries on the road, owing to the mammoth size of trucks and tractor-trailers.

A skilled truck accident attorney can investigate your case and determine exactly how a truck driver failed to meet the duty of care. If there’s evidence of negligence, whether because of driving under the influence or refusing to make mandatory maintenance checks, our personal injury team can fight to get the compensation you need for any injuries.

Do you need assistance with a truck accident case? Our nationally-recognized attorneys at Hare Wynn are on your side. Contact us today at 800-568-5330 for a free consultation.

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