Common Causes of Truck Accidents
All kinds of motor vehicles on the road can cause serious injury and property damage in a traffic accident, but trucks are particularly hazardous due to their enormous size and weight. It’s an unfortunate fact that road accidents involving large trucks often result in severe injuries.
Victims do have legal options available to them, however. Johnson Garcia LLP, based in Houston, Texas, has years of experience in helping victims of large truck and 18-wheeler accidents obtain sizable settlements, and we have earned a reputation as one of the leading personal injury law firms serving Houston, TX and neighboring communities. In this section, we’ll take a look at the kinds of trucking accident cases we tend to handle.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
There are many possible causes of truck and semi-truck accidents; here are just a few of the more commonly occurring ones:
- Rollover Accidents – An 18-wheeler that rolls over on the highway can cause serious damage to pedestrians and other vehicles in the area.
- Jackknife Accidents – Under certain conditions, tractor trailers and other articulated multi-trailer trucks can go into a skid and cause the entire vehicle to fold onto itself like a jackknife (hence the name).
- “Swinging Turn” Accidents – Large trucks typically have to swing wide to the left when preparing for a right-hand turn. Sometimes, other vehicles crash into the truck while attempting to drive around it.
- Blind Spot Accidents – Large trucks also usually have large blind spots—this can spell trouble for other vehicles that are in these zones at the wrong time.
- Underride and Override Accidents – Smaller vehicles can easily become trapped underneath a commercial truck by slamming into the truck’s rear (underride accident) or by getting hit by a runaway truck (override accident).
- Tire Blowouts – These tend to be very abrupt and can cause a truck driver to lose control of the vehicle without warning.
- Lost Freight – Commercial trucks that lose their freight while in motion can cause a serious accident.
How Truck Accidents Happen
A lot of things can go wrong when you’re dealing with large commercial trucks speeding down the road at a high rate of speed. Here are some common causes of truck accidents:
- Distracted Driving – This has always been a problem, but it has become a bigger one in recent years due to the booming popularity of small mobile devices. It’s only too easy to grab a cell phone and check for texts, and even experienced, safety-conscious truck drivers aren’t immune to this temptation. Technology isn’t the only distraction; drivers may simply look away from the road long enough to make a collision unavoidable.
- Substance Abuse – It’s no big secret that drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol cannot operate their vehicles safely. What isn’t emphasized often enough is that the category of “drugs” also includes certain legal prescription and over-the-counter medications that can interfere with one’s driving abilities.
- Excessive Speed – Driving too fast is a risk factor for many of the more dramatic 18-wheeler accidents, such as rollovers and jackknife incidents.
- Driver Fatigue – Commercial truck drivers spend long days on the road and, as the hours drag on, weariness sets in. Falling asleep at the wheel of an 18-wheeler is an obvious danger, but even drivers who stay awake are at increased risk of causing an accident because fatigue impairs reaction time and judgment.
- Inadequate Maintenance – 18-wheelers are usually on the road eight hours a day—far longer than the average vehicle. That means that commercial trucks like these will experience major mechanical issues more frequently than other motor vehicles on the road. Without routine maintenance, debilitating mechanical problems may develop—which can, and sometimes do, lead to an accident. Brake problems are implicated in many large truck crashes.
Contact Our Houston Personal Injury Attorneys Today
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by the negligence of another party, please contact the Houston-based legal team at Johnson Garcia LLP. We can be reached by phone at 832-844-6700. Your initial consultation is free.