According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an estimated 31 percent of fatal truck accidents involved driver-related factors. This means that the driver involved in the crash made some type of mistake or error that caused the crash to occur.
Driver-related factors are just some of the possible causes of trucking accidents in St. Louis. Other crash causes can include maintenance issues or problems with the road.
Determining the cause of trucking accidents is very important because the person or company who was responsible for causing the accident can also be held legally responsible and made to pay compensation. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help you to get to the bottom of who was to blame.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents in St. Louis
There are many different reasons why truck accidents happen and in 2005, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a comprehensive study called the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) in order to determine what the most common crash causes were.
Based on the results of this study, which looked at more than 120,000 truck crashes, common causes of truck accidents included:
- Drug or alcohol use. This can include the use of prescription and over-the-counter medications that affect the ability to drive.
- Speeding or driving too quickly for road conditions. A truck driver could cause an accident by going too fast even if he is not exceeding the speed limit, provided his vehicle is traveling too quickly to be safe given the current state of the roads.
- Failure to look. Inadequate surveillance on the part of drivers was a major contributing factor to truck accidents.
- Fatigue. Drowsy driving can be every bit as dangerous as being drunk behind the wheel. Rules limiting the number of hours that a trucker can drive aim to prevent these types of accidents but drivers don’t always obey.
- Work pressure. Drivers who are pressured to drive for too long or to meet unreasonable deadlines could do dangerous things to meet their employer’s expectations.
- Driver distraction. Internal and external distractions can significantly increase the chances that a truck accident will happen.
- Aggressive driving including tailgating. Trucks have a lot of momentum and can take a long time to stop. As such, it is important for trucks to leave a sufficient amount of space in between their vehicle and the car in front of them.
Other top causes of truck accidents include brake failure or other maintenance problems; and overloaded trucks or unbalanced loads.
In many of these cases, the truck accident is caused by the driver doing something wrong or by the trucking company being negligent in some way. When this occurs, a St. Louis personal injury lawyer can help you to prove the company is to blame so you can obtain the compensation you need to cover your truck accident losses.