You are positive that the truck driver who barreled into your car was driving under the influence. He seemed disoriented and confused as he talked to the police officers—and while you don’t know if he was tested for alcohol, he definitely wasn’t in his right mind. The fact that the trucking company offered you a settlement makes you even more suspicious—they wouldn’t have offered you money if they thought they could avoid a court case. But, how can you really know what caused your truck accident when the trucking company doesn’t want to give you any information?
Ten Common Causes of Truck Crashes
- Drug use. You’re right to suspect the trucker who hit you was driving under the influence. Alcohol, prescription drug use, and illegal drugs are a factor in over a quarter of all big rig accidents.
- Driver fatigue. Trucking companies want to maximize their profits, and this may mean putting pressure on drivers to stay on the road as long as possible. Tired truckers have slower response times, make more mistakes behind the wheel than rested drivers, and are a major factor in most crashes.
- Speeding. Not only is speeding a common factor in semi crashes, it is also more likely to make the accident fatal. Each mile over the speed limit increases stopping distance and strengthens the force of impact when the truck collides with a smaller car.
- Distracted driving. Truckers have many long hours to fill on the road, and some have turned to electronic distractions, such as texting, watching TV, playing games online, or checking Facebook on their phones while driving.
- Unfamiliar roads. Trucks often travel across several states, making it likely that they will not be as familiar with the roads as lifelong Kansas City residents. Many accidents are caused when a driver attempts to merge too late or make an illegal turn because they missed their exit.
- Over-the-counter medication. While illegal medications are a bigger problem, over-the-counter medications such as allergy drugs and sleep aids also cause many preventable crashes.
- Aggressive driving. Truckers frustrated by tight deadlines and slow traffic often develop road rage tactics, such as cutting too close to other vehicles and weaving in and out of lanes to get ahead of slower vehicles.
- Blind spots. While truckers are trained on how to check all of the truck’s blind spots before merging or turning, many truckers still do not make these checks every time they attempt a difficult maneuver.
- Failure to signal. Truckers (and all drivers) have a responsibility to warn the cars around them before they change direction or attempt a turn. Many accidents have been caused simply because a truck driver failed to use his turn signal.
- Poor response. New or untrained drivers are often not prepared for the amount of force necessary to stop a big rig. Accidents are often caused—or made worse—by truckers who did not take enough action to avoid a problem on the road.
How Can You Tell Which Mistake Caused Your Truck Accident?
The trucking company is unlikely to release any information about the crash unless you have an attorney working for you. One of the first thing attorneys do after a crash is request all information from the accident to prevent it from being lost or destroyed.
Have you been injured in a truck accident? If so you should speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111 for your free consultation today.