There are many types of trucking accidents that can cause serious injury to other motorists, but head-on truck accidents are very likely to cause death or serious injury to people in automobiles. Reportedly, the leading causes of head-on trucking accidents are driver distraction, driver fatigue, tire failure, and driving with an unsecured load.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforces trucking regulations designed to prevent head-on accidents with commercial vehicles. Commercial truck drivers are required to keep daily log books, hold a commercial driver’s license, and perform safety inspections before, during, and after the trip.
Like most professions, driving a commercial truck requires skill and practice. If a driver is inexperienced or improperly trained, their chances of causing an accident increase significantly. In addition, both experienced and inexperienced drivers are more likely to cause an accident if they are inattentive or distracted. Some studies have indicated that using a cell phone to dial a number or text message is actually more dangerous than driving with a blood-alcohol content of .04%.
Trucking companies can be responsible for head-on trucking accidents in a variety of ways. If the company’s policies encourage fast driving more than safe driving by paying their drivers on commission, fatigued drivers pose a hazard to highway safety. Trucking companies must also ensure that proper maintenance and load checks are performed in order to avoid dangerous conditions that can cause accidents. Defective, damaged, or excessively worn brakes and unsecured or imbalanced loads can be significant factors in the severity of head-on collisions.
Finally, trucking companies are often being disingenuous when they pin the blame for an accident on road conditions alone. Frequently, accidents are the result of a number of factors coming together. While icy or wet roads, reduced visibility, and obstacles in the road may be factors in an accident, they are not always the underlying cause or most significant factor, and the trucking company may still be held fully or partially liable.
When a head-on trucking accident does occur at the fault of the truck driver or trucking company, individuals injured in the accident and their families have a right to pursue compensation in court.