Truck Accidents

What is the Number One Cause of Truck Accidents?

Posted by Trent Kelly on October 28, 2022
What is the Number One Cause of Truck Accidents?

In 2020, Texas had 511 fatal crashes, with 580 fatalities, according to a report published by the Texas Department of Transportation. Additionally, Texas holds the record for the highest number of large-truck occupant deaths.

What is the Number One Cause of so Many Truck Accidents?

The answer: negligence. Truck drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles with care in order to protect other road users. When a truck driver is fatigued or burned out from the job, they cannot operate their truck with the precision and attention required in order to keep others safe.

The attorneys at TK Injury Lawyers have experience helping truck accident victims. We know what it takes to litigate a truck accident case, and we are ready to fight for you.

Negligence in Truck Driving

With so many deaths, you may be wondering the reason so many truck drivers are negligent. What are truck drivers doing exactly to cause so many accidents?

There are many behaviors that can be attributed to drivers’ negligence, including:

  • Fatigue: truck drivers are forced to work long hours to make scheduled deliveries on-time
  • Alcohol impairment: many truck drivers were reported to have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08/deciliter or higher, driving above the legal limit
  • Speeding: truck drivers drive too fast in an attempt to make as many delivers as possible while not driving past their regulated hours
  • Unsafe lane changes: trucks have large blind spots that make it difficult for drivers to see other cars while changing lanes

Protocols Trucks are Required to Follow

Truck drivers are required by law to follow certain protocols as dictated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is overseen by the United States Department of Transportation. These protocols are called the hours-of-operation (HOS) regulations.

Most notably, drivers are restricted from driving more than 60 hours over 7 consecutive days, or 70 hours over 8 consecutive days.

While the FMCSA is trying to reduce the number of accidents by putting these regulations into place, truck drivers are forced to drive long hours without rest to make deliveries on time.

Who is Responsible for Truck Accidents?

The following elements must be established in order to determine if a truck driver was negligent:

  • Duty of care: truck drivers have a duty to protect others from harm on the road by driving with care
  • Breach of duty: the truck driver did not keep to that duty of care
  • Causation: there is a link between the truck driver not following the rules of the road and your subsequent injuries
  • Damages: as a result of the truck driver’s negligence, you experienced losses in the form of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and/or damage to your vehicle

Many times, the trucking company or the owner of the truck may bear the ultimate responsibility for the truck driver’s actions. The trucking company may be held liable for the truck driver’s actions since he was acting in the scope of his employment. In other cases, you may be suing the truck driver individually, or both the trucker and his employer.

Depending on the circumstances of your situation, if an investigation finds that other parties acted negligently, you may be able to add additional parties as defendants in your lawsuit, i.e., the truck manufacturer, maintenance crews, or cargo loaders.

An experienced Austin truck accident lawyer can evaluate your situation and help you make an informed decision in litigating your case.

Contact an Austin Truck Accident Lawyer

A truck accident can happen in a split second. In operating such a large vehicle, a truck driver cannot take their focus off the road, even momentarily. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you need aid from the legal team at TK Injury Lawyers. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. Let’s put you back in the driver’s seat.

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