Causes of Delivery Truck Accidents
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Patrick DiBenedetto with Metier Law Firm.
Delivery trucks are on the road more than ever in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With many more consumers opting to order their goods online rather than go to the store, the pressure on the trucking industry is arguably stronger than ever. Unsurprisingly, many are predicting an increase in delivery truck accidents. However, the causes of these accidents might not be exactly what you expect.
In fact, a significant number of delivery truck accidents are attributed to reckless conduct on the part of standard passenger vehicle drivers. It is important for drivers to exercise extreme caution when sharing the road with a large truck or 18-wheeler. However, multiple factors are at play. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident with a delivery truck, reach out to a truck accident attorney to learn more about your options for recovery.
Some of the most common causes of delivery truck accidents include:
- Passenger vehicle driver error: Drivers of standard vehicles are often just as much if not more of a danger to themself than anything else on the road. It is imperative that every driver remain alert and focused at all times, and follow all the rules of the road to ensure the safety of themself, their passengers, and others, particularly when sharing the road with a large tractor-trailer.
- Truck driver error: Truck drivers are prone to error, just like everyone else. However, truck drivers are also held to a higher standard of responsibility due to the size, weight, and power of the vehicles they drive. When a truck driver makes an error, the possibility of catastrophe is significantly higher than if a standard passenger vehicle made the same error.
- Fatigued driving: Driving while overtired is one of the biggest dangers for truck drivers. Truck drivers often spend days at a time on the road and work remarkably long hours. This risk is intended to be mitigated by the mandatory rest breaks truck drivers are supposed to stop for. However, when a truck driver does not take the necessary rest breaks or creates a false driving log indicating a rest break that did not occur, the consequences of fatigued driving can be extreme.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is a present risk for passenger vehicle drivers and truck drivers alike. It is imperative for a driver’s eyes, ears, and concentration to remain on the road at all times. In the time it takes to look down and check a text, a moving vehicle can cover a vast distance with any number of obstacles in the road.
- Inclement weather: Truck drivers face a myriad of challenges on the road, inclement weather being one of the biggest. Truck drivers are supposed to slow down in inclement weather, move over, and depending on the severity of the weather conditions, pull off to a safe place and wait for the weather to pass. When a truck does not drive safely with consideration to the current weather conditions, the effects can be disastrous.
- Improper loading: The way a delivery truck is loaded plays a big part in how the vehicle handles. Trucks that are overloaded or improperly loaded are more likely to lose control on a turn, potentially striking another vehicle or even flipping over.
- Speeding: As a general rule, if a truck is not moving, it is not making money. This can inspire truck drivers to drive over the speed limit, which is dangerous enough in a passenger vehicle. It is also not uncommon for trucking companies to pressure their drivers to speed beyond what is safe according to the limit and even current weather conditions.
- Mechanical failure: Truck drivers are required to check their vehicles for maintenance issues at the beginning and end of every trip. When a truck accident occurs due to mechanical failure, it could be for any number of reasons. While it is possible the driver did not conduct a proper maintenance check, it is also possible that the mechanic in charge of servicing the vehicle did a poor job, or that the trucking company failed to make adequate repairs.
- FMCSA violations: The FMCSA or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is responsible for publishing the rules and regulations truck drivers and trucking companies are required to follow. When any one of these regulations is not followed, the consequences can be dire. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for trucking companies to pressure drivers to break these and other rules in the interest of maximizing profit.
It is important to note that in many instances of delivery truck accidents, multiple factors are at play. It is not at all uncommon for both the passenger vehicle driver and the truck driver to be partially at fault for an accident. However, the passenger vehicle driver and passengers rarely come out on top in regard to injuries. To learn more about delivery truck accident causes and recovery, reach out to a truck accident attorney.