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5 Leading Causes of Large Truck Accidents

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5 Leading Causes of Large Truck Accidents

Considering the sheer number of miles traveled by commercial drivers and the many dangers they encounter while on the road, it should come as no surprise that large truck accidents are relatively common. In fact, more than 4,300 people died in these crashes in 2016 alone.

Passenger vehicle occupants are especially vulnerable in such wrecks because their cars are no match for massive tractor-trailers. To reduce your risk, it’s a good idea to learn the most common causes of 18-wheeler collisions so you can anticipate and avoid hazardous situations. Such causes include:

  1. Poor Decisions or Misjudgments

Driver error is the most common cause of large truck accidents and will probably remain the leading contributor of commercial wrecks until the job is 100 percent automated. Examples include driving too fast for the conditions, taking turns too sharply for the cargo load, and following vehicles too closely for the speed of travel.

  1. Distracted Driving

Inattention is the second leading cause of commercial truck accidents. Because of their immense size and weight, 18-wheelers require a lot more stopping distance than passenger vehicles. That means if a hazard does arise, a trucker must respond almost immediately to prevent a collision. In other words, commercial drivers who aren’t constantly scanning their surroundings are at a high risk of causing a crash.

  1. Impaired Driving

The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) revealed that non-performance errors were the third leading cause of truck accidents. Commercial drivers are far more likely to crash when they’re drunk, drowsy, or suffering from a heart attack, stroke, or seizure.

  1. Malfunctioning Vehicle Components

Vehicle malfunctions are another leading cause of truck collisions. When a defect or malfunction is to blame for the wreck, potentially liable parties include:

  • The trucker;
  • The motor carrier;
  • The maintenance contractor;
  • The cargo loading company; and/or
  • The vehicle or parts manufacturer.
  1. Poor Road Conditions

The companies that manufacture 18-wheelers and their parts know these vehicles must be able to withstand a lot of wear and tear because of the demands of commercial driving. But even with proper maintenance, no tractor-trailer is immune to accidents.

If road or weather conditions are poor, collisions are more likely to occur. Some examples of poor road conditions that can result in truck accidents include:  

  • Crumbling concrete;
  • Massive potholes;
  • Unmarked curbs;
  • Oil slicks;
  • Soft shoulders;
  • Missing guardrails;
  • Sharp ramps;
  • Narrow lanes; and
  • Malfunctioning stoplights.

Environmental conditions like rain, snow, and fog also contribute to a considerable number of large truck crashes every year.

Call 212-421-0300 to Discuss Your Case with a New York City Truck Accident Attorney

If you were hurt in a large truck crash, you may be entitled to compensation for all resulting damages. To determine the most strategic way to proceed, contact The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny.

Our attorneys have more than a century of combined experience in legal practice. Call 212-421-0300 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a truck accident lawyer in New York City.


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Whether you need a Bronx car accident lawyer, birth injury lawyer, construction accident lawyer or legal representation for any type of accident, the NYC personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny can help. Located in New York City, we've helped hundreds of individuals throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn (Kings County), Manhattan, Queens and Nassau County recover the compensation they need to receive proper medical care, treatment and quality of life after serious injury.


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