Experienced Dothan Injury Attorneys Explain the Common Causes of Trucking Accidents

Factors that lead to tractor-trailer crashes nationwide

Truck accidents are a leading cause of injury and death on the roadways.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,213 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents on the nation’s roads in 2016. In 72 percent of these accidents, the victims were the occupants of other vehicles; only 17 percent of fatalities occurred to the occupants of the large trucks. It is pretty clear that in truck-car accidents, the car comes out the loser. The Dothan, Alabama injury attorneys at Carey & Hamner, P.C. understand the dangers posed by trucks, and we know how to hold truck drivers and trucking companies responsible when their negligence causes injuries to our clients.

Common causes of tractor-trailer crashes

Commercial carriers are bound by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, and when violations of those regulations lead to accidents, victims can hold a range of parties liable.  Accidents involving tractor-trailers and other large trucks can be caused by many factors and result from a variety of misconduct, some of it intentional and some not, as these FMCSA statistics show:

  • The FMCSA reports 32 percent of truck accidents are caused by trucks travelling over the center line or off the road.
  • Loss of control through speeding or other means causes 29 percent of truck accidents.
  • In 12 percent of truck accidents, driver nonperformance is cited. The FMCSA limits the number of hours a commercial driver may operate a truck, but drivers often fight fatigue to meet their tight schedules. Other types of nonperformance include being sick or under the influence of prescription or illegal drugs or alcohol. Two percent of truck drivers involved in fatal accidents in 2016 had a blood alcohol level above .08 percent, according to NHTSA. The FMCSA limits the number of hours a commercial driver may operate a truck.
  • Driver inattention was at fault in 28 percent of truck accidents.
  • Driver speed and aggression is cited in 38 percent of large-truck accidents. More than 22 percent of all large-truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had at least one prior speeding conviction.
  • In nine percent of truck accidents, poor performance by drivers is cited.
  • Problems with the vehicle cause about 10 percent of large-truck accidents. These might include faulty parts, loading errors or overweight vehicles.
  • Weather and poor roadway conditions are at fault in three percent of trucking accidents.

Our experienced personal injury attorneys know how to pursue claims involving any type of large truck or tractor-trailer accident. We investigate every possible cause, document truck records, driver history, witness statements and more. As tractor-trailer cases can be very complex, we often consult outside experts who provide testimony to strengthen your case.

The problem with distracted truckers

Distracted driving is already recognized as a risk factor for accidents, but it is even more dangerous when truckers take their eyes off the road because they’re distracted, as FMCSA statistics show:

  • Truck drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or cause some other safety event while texting.
  • Drivers of large trucks are six times more likely to be involved in a crash while dialing a hand-held cellphone.
  • Truckers are three times more likely to have an accident while reaching for an object in the truck.

The FMCSA prohibits truck drivers from texting or talking on a handheld phone while operating a commercial vehicle. When truckers behind the wheel of a 70,000-pound tractor-trailer engage in an activity that diverts their attention from the road, the results can be catastrophic. If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident or a loved one has been killed in one, our personal injury attorneys will draw on more than 20 years of experience to seek the compensation you deserve.

Get help from dedicated trucking accident attorneys in Dothan, Alabama

Located across Main Street from the First United Methodist Church in Dothan, Carey & Hamner, P.C. serves truck accident victims across southeastern Alabama, including in Enterprise, Ozark and Troy. If you need help, call our lawyers in Dothan at 855-435-4797 or contact us online today to set up a free consultation about your injury.