Trucking accidents often cause catastrophic and fatal personal injuries due to the nature of the wreck. The size and weight of commercial big rigs can crush or obliterate smaller passenger vehicles in collisions. In 2017, 4,657 large trucks were involved in fatal traffic accidents around the United States.
Most truck accidents are preventable. They stem from truck driver negligence, truck part failures or other avoidable problems. Learning the most common causes of truck accidents in Alabama can help a crash victim understand when he or she has grounds for a lawsuit against the truck company or another party.
Driver distraction is one of the main causes of all kinds of car accidents. The trucking industry is not exempt from driver errors. Negligent and careless truck drivers may text and drive, eat and drink behind the wheel or otherwise drive distracted. Distractions in trucking could make it impossible for the driver to safely control the truck or react in time to changing roadway conditions. Driver distraction could lead to fatal accidents.
Drowsy driving is a significant problem in the trucking industry. Many different things can cause trucker drowsiness, including poor diet, long hours alone on the road, certain medications, breaching the federal hours of service regulations or sleep apnea. It is every truck driver's legal duty to reasonably prevent drowsy driving. Failing to do so, resulting in an accident, is negligence.
For a large truck to operate safely and efficiently, all of its components must be in proper working order. If a trucking company neglects to properly inspect and maintain its fleet vehicles, the trucks may experience dangerous breakdowns during transport. Part failures could include brake malfunctions, tire blowouts or lost cargo loads. The trucking company could be liable for accidents involving preventable vehicle failures.