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What are some common causes of commercial vehicle accidents?

No one can deny that semi-trucks are an integral part of the economy in the United States. Businesses rely on truckers to ship goods for sale across the nation. Semi-trucks are a common sight on Florida highways, but, due to their sheer size, any accident involving a semi-truck has the potential to be catastrophic. The following are some common causes of truck accidents.

First, it takes special training and a special license to operate a semi-truck. An inexperienced trucker could pose a danger to other drivers on the road, particularly if they are driving recklessly. Also, if a truck company routinely hires truckers who have been in accidents in the past and have a poor driving record, that truck company could be held responsible if the trucker causes a crash.

Truckers, just like all other motorists, must follow the rules of the road. They must stop at intersections with stop signs or traffic lights, they must yield to other motorists' right of way when necessary and they must obey the speed limit, or even travel under it if road conditions are poor. Speeding is an especially dangerous issue. According to one source, speeding was a factor in around 23 percent of Class 8 tractor-trailer crashes.

Truck driver fatigue is also a pressing issue in truck accidents. Truckers may be pushed by their employers to make as many deliveries as possible as quickly as possible. Therefore, they may drive while drowsy or they may not take the adequate rest breaks they are required to under federal regulations. One source reports that driver fatigue played a role in 13 percent of semi-truck crashes.

Most truckers understand that they cannot drive drunk or drive after having taken illegal drugs. What they may fail to consider, though, is that even legal prescription or over-the-counter drugs can affect their thinking and reaction time. According to one source, 44 percent of truckers involved in crashes were on a legal drug at the time.

As this shows, there are many causes of truck accidents. Unfortunately, many of these accidents could be avoided if the trucker exercised due care while driving. People involved in truck accidents can suffer serious injuries or could even lose their lives. When that happens, the accident victims or their survivors may want to determine what avenues of compensation are available to them.

Source: Tank Transport Trader, "Preventing Truck Collisions," Samantha Tung, April 11, 2018

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