Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Every sixteen minutes someone is killed or injured in a semi-tractor trailer, big rig, or 18-wheeler accident.

There there are almost five thousand trucking collisions in Missouri every year. Thousands of these truck crashes result in personal injuries and there are more than one hundred fatalities per year due to big rig accidents. Most of these wrecks happen on the U.S. interstates and other highways.

Kansas statistics show roughly fifteen hundred semi-tractor trailer accidents per year, with close to one yearly hundred fatalities.

Estimates by the The United States Department of Transportation show that there are approximately five thousand fatalities caused by trucking accidents yearly in the U.S., as well as thousands of personal injuries suffered from trucking accidents.

There are many common causes of trucking accidents, according to safety experts:


When a truck driver has driven for more than an eight hour period, the risk of causing an accident significantly increases. Because compensation for truck drivers is often calculated by the number of miles driven, dangerous risks are sometimes taken resulting in truck collisions.

Brake and Steering Malfunctions

More than 50% of tractor trailer accidents are caused by brake malfunction, the most common cause of semi trucks and 18 wheelers collisions. Steering malfunctions cause more than 20% of semi truck accidents.

Inadequate Braking Capabilities

It takes much longer for a semi truck to stop than a standard passenger car even with good brakes and proper maintenance. The semi truck is even more difficult to stop when the roads are wet. Today trucks are required to be equipped with anti-lock brakes. However, older trucks that do not have anti-lock brakes are still on the roads in significant numbers and are at a greater risk of jackknifing.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is the cause of a small percentage of trucking accidents. Statistically about 5% of truck drivers who have died in trucking accidents had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.

Age of the Driver

Truck drivers in their 20’s tend to be at higher risk of being in a trucking accident because older drivers generally have more experience in handling large trucks.

Weight and Size of the Truck

The more a truck weighs the more dangerous it is on the road. The current weight limit for trucks is 80,000 lbs. Research has shown that a truck weighing 100,000 lbs takes about 25% longer to come to a complete stop than a truck weighing 80,000 lbs, and rollover accidents are more prevalent in trucks weighing more than 80,000 lbs.

Have You Been Injured In A Truck Accident?

If you've been injured in a tractor trailer accident you need to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.