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Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents have the potential to cause significant damage and injuries due to the sheer size and weight of commercial vehicles. While these accidents can occur for various reasons, some causes are more common than others.

One common cause of truck accidents is driver error. Fatigue, distraction, aggression, and inexperience can all contribute to human errors that lead to accidents. Long hours of continuous driving, tight deadlines, and monotonous tasks can cause truck drivers to become fatigued, impairing their judgment, reaction time, and ability to stay alert on the road.

Another common cause of truck accidents is mechanical failure. Trucks are complex machines that require careful maintenance and regular inspections. Brakes, tires, steering systems, and other crucial components can malfunction or fail due to poor maintenance or manufacturing defects. Such failures can result in loss of control, tire blowouts, or brake failure, increasing the risk of accidents on the road.

External factors, such as adverse weather conditions and poor road infrastructure, also contribute to truck accidents. Heavy rain, snow, ice, and fog can all make roads slippery and reduce visibility, leading to loss of control or inadequate reaction times. Similarly, poorly designed roads with inadequate signage, sharp turns, narrow lanes, or uneven surfaces can increase the likelihood of accidents involving trucks.

If a crash with a heavy truck has impacted you or a loved one, call the accident attorneys at Torgenson Law for a free case evaluation. Over the past two decades, our expert litigators have represented thousands of Arizona drivers in seeking justice for their pain and suffering. We are standing by, ready to help.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving significantly contributes to accidents worldwide, claiming thousands of lives and causing severe injuries each year. The consumption of alcohol impairs a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely, affecting their judgment, coordination, and reaction time. The combination of these impairments greatly increases the likelihood of accidents occurring.

One primary way drunk driving leads to accidents is through the impairment of judgment.

Alcohol consumption often causes individuals to become overconfident, leading them to take unnecessary risks such as speeding, tailgating, or ignoring traffic signals. They may have impaired decision-making skills, making it challenging for them to assess the situation accurately and respond appropriately, such as failing to recognize potential hazards or misjudging the distance of other vehicles.

Drunk driving also affects coordination, making it difficult for individuals to control their vehicles effectively. Alcohol affects fine motor skills, resulting in decreased muscle control, blurred vision, and reduced hand-eye coordination. All these impairments can lead to difficulty maintaining lanes, improper steering, erratic braking, and an inability to respond quickly to changes in traffic conditions. This lack of control significantly increases the likelihood of accidents, especially when combined with other reckless behaviors.

One of the most critical impacts of drunk driving on accidents is the significant decrease in reaction time. Alcohol impairs the ability to quickly process information and react appropriately to potential dangers on the road. This delayed reaction time and impaired judgment and coordination leave little room for evasive actions to avoid collisions. Consequently, drunk drivers often fail to respond promptly to hazards such as sudden lane changes, dangerous overtaking, or unexpected pedestrian movements, substantially increasing the risk of accidents.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is a major contributor to truck accidents as it involves knowingly engaging in dangerous behavior on the road. Reckless drivers often disregard traffic laws, disregard the safety of others on the road, and display a blatant disregard for the potential consequences of their actions. This type of driving behavior places both the reckless driver and innocent bystanders at a higher risk of being involved in a severe accident.

One of the main ways reckless driving contributes to truck accidents in Arizona is through speeding. Speeding reduces the driver’s ability to react to unexpected situations, increases the stopping distance required, and decreases the effectiveness of safety features such as seat belts and airbags. When the heavy truck driver exceeds the recommended speed limits, they are more likely to lose control of their rig and fail to notice and respond to hazards on the road, which can result in severe collisions that can cause devastating injuries.

Another way reckless driving leads to accidents is through aggressive behaviors such as tailgating, rapid lane changes, and failure to yield the right of way to smaller vehicles. These actions increase the chances of collisions, as they do not allow for adequate time or space for passenger vehicles to react.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic accidents worldwide. When drivers are not fully focused on the road, they are more likely to make mistakes, react slower, and fail to recognize potential hazards, all of which increase the risk of an accident.

One major distraction source is using electronic devices such as smartphones or GPS. Texting, talking on the phone, map lookups, or browsing social media while driving diverts the driver’s attention away from the road, leading to dangerous situations.

Another common distraction is eating or drinking while driving. Taking hands off the steering wheel to handle food or beverages can reduce the driver’s control over the vehicle and increase the chances of a collision. This is especially true for truck drivers, as they often drive long distances over long hours behind the wheel and frequently need to feed themselves while driving.

Poor Maintenance or Improper Cargo Loading

Poor maintenance significantly increases the risk of truck accidents. Neglecting regular inspections, repairs, and replacing worn-out parts can lead to various mechanical failures, including brake failure, tire blowouts, faulty lighting systems, and other critical problems. Here are some of the most common maintenance issues leading to accidents:

  • Brake failure. Trucks rely on their braking systems to slow down and stop, especially when carrying heavy loads. If the brakes are not properly maintained, they may become worn out, lose their effectiveness, or even fail completely. This can result in the truck being unable to stop in time to avoid a collision, leading to a serious accident.
  • Blowouts. Truck tires undergo significant stress and wear due to carrying heavy loads and traveling long distances. Regular maintenance, such as checking tire pressure and replacing worn-out tires, is essential to prevent blowouts. When tires fail while a truck is in motion, it can cause the driver to lose control, resulting in accidents that can be catastrophic for both the truck driver and other road users.
  • Poor lighting. Faulty lighting and signaling systems are also a common consequence of poor maintenance. Trucks need properly functioning headlights, taillights, turn signals, and brake lights to ensure other drivers are aware of their movements on the road. If these lights are not appropriately maintained or repaired, visibility can be reduced, and other vehicles may not have enough time to react or anticipate the truck’s actions.
  • Lack of inspections. Poor maintenance can neglect regular inspections and repairs to critical components such as steering, suspension, and engine systems. The failure to address these issues can result in a loss of control, leading to accidents due to problems like steering malfunctions, suspension instability, or engine failures.

Improper cargo loading also significantly contributes to truck accidents by affecting the vehicle’s stability, maneuverability, and overall control. When cargo is not properly loaded and secured, it can shift, redistribute weight, or even fall out of the truck, leading to dangerous situations on the road.

One of the main issues that arise from improper cargo loading is an imbalance of weight distribution. If the cargo is not evenly distributed, it can cause the truck’s center of gravity to become imbalanced. This imbalance makes the truck more prone to tipping over or rolling, particularly during sudden maneuvers, such as evasive actions or sharp turns.

Another risk of improperly loaded cargo is compromised maneuverability. When the cargo is not secured properly, it can move around within the truck while in transit. This movement can shift the truck’s center of gravity, altering its stability and handling. As a result, the truck driver may experience difficulties steering, maintaining control, or keeping the vehicle within its lane.

Improperly loaded cargo can also pose direct threats to other road users. Loose items or debris falling from the truck can create hazardous conditions for trailing vehicles, leading to collisions or forced evasive actions that may result in accidents.

Road Conditions and Weather

Inclement weather conditions, such as rain, snow, ice, and fog, also increase the likelihood of truck accidents. Reduced visibility and slippery road surfaces make it challenging for truck drivers to safely operate their vehicles. Rain and snow can create slick roads, leading to longer stopping distances and an increased risk of rear-end collisions.

Due to their size and weight, trucks require longer stopping distances and more time to react to sudden changes in road or weather conditions. This can be particularly challenging on slippery or uneven roads, as it becomes more difficult for trucks to come to a complete stop or maintain their stability.

Ultimately, road and weather conditions contribute to truck accidents by increasing the chances of losing control, reducing visibility, impairing traction, and limiting maneuverability.

Call Torgenson Law Today

If you’ve been involved in an accident with a heavy truck, you know how traumatic an experience it can be. Torgenson Law is here to help you through the process, with our entire staff dedicated to getting you the compensation you deserve.

As soon as possible after an accident, call the accident lawyers who know how to get results for Arizona drivers. We are committed to discovering all the facts of the incident and helping to build a compelling case for just compensation. For a free case evaluation, reach out to us online or call us at 602-726-0747 to get started on your path to obtaining justice for your pain and suffering.

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