Causes of Truck Accidents

You can learn more about collisions with big rigs, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, and other large vehicles with our team at Pamela Olsen Law. Going over the top 10 causes of truck accidents can help you understand the risks drivers face each time they climb behind the wheel in Ocala, FL.

Our team also helps individuals who sustained an injury in a truck accident. If you have further questions about building a truck accident claim, you can reach out to us. Begin your journey today when you call 352-671-9777.

1. Distracted Driving

Distracted driving represents a primary cause of truck accidents in the Ocala area. The professionals have identified three dangerous forms of distracted faced by drivers, including:

  •     Visual distraction, such as taking your eyes off of the road
  •     Cognitive distraction, such as thinking about something besides driving
  •     Manual distraction, such as removing your hands from the steering wheel 

Truck drivers may experience distraction when using a cellular device, changing their radio station, or while eating or drinking. Talking to a passenger in the vehicle could also lead to distraction and a truck crash. 

2. Fatigue

Trucking companies often expect their employees to work very long hours, staying on the road to make deliveries on time. This expectation encourages drivers to continue operating their vehicles even when they become drowsy. 

Fatigue impacts drivers in much the same way as the consumption of alcohol, making truckers more likely to engage in reckless behavior. Tired drivers may also fall asleep behind the wheel, allowing their vehicles to swerve across into oncoming traffic. 

3. Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Florida prohibits drivers from operating their vehicles after consuming alcohol. Many drivers have to keep their blood alcohol content (BAC) under 0.08% to legally driver. However, professional drivers have to adhere to a 0.04% BAC limit.

Truck drivers in Ocala are not supposed to drink for four hours before operating a vehicle, and they should not drink while driving their work vehicle. However, drivers sometimes ignore these regulations. 

Alcohol makes it harder for drivers to act in a reasonable and safe manner. 

4. Aggressive Behavior

Aggressive actions behind the wheel of a truck may lead to a car accident. Truck drivers sometimes engage in dangerous activities like:

  •     Failing to yield the right of way
  •     Tailgating other vehicles
  •     Cutting other drivers off 
  •     Exceeding the speed limit
  •     Swerving between lanes 

They may also experience fits of road rage, especially if they are frustrated by the demands of their trucking company. However, stress does not represent a good excuse for behaving in a dangerous or unsafe way when behind the wheel. 

5. Inadequate Training or Supervision

Truck drivers require special training before they operate their vehicles. Therefore, trucking companies should only hire drivers who have the appropriate certifications to drive a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, or similarly large vehicle.

However, some trucking companies cut corners and hire drivers who do not have the skills and experience required to operate large trucks on the road safely. These drivers may also receive inadequate supervision on the job, allowing them to develop dangerous habits. 

Therefore, poor training represents one of the top 10 causes of truck accidents. 

6. Improper Maintenance

Trucking companies have a legal responsibility to keep the vehicles in their fleets well maintained in many cases. Therefore, they may need to perform some maintenance each time a truck returns from a run. 

They may need to check the brakes, change the oil, and keep all fluid levels topped up less frequently. 

Truck companies that fail to take these steps often allow the trucks to develop issues. Over time, components may wear out, making the truck more dangerous to other drivers and leading to accidents that could cause injuries or wrongful death. 

7. Improperly Loaded Cargo

Trucks play an essential role in our economy by hauling cargo carefully. In order to properly move cargo, truckers need to take the time to stow their loads correctly. They must also take care to avoid overloading their trucks. 

Overloaded trucks are more likely to blow a tire and also have higher chances of rolling over if they take a turn too quickly or change lanes abruptly. Improperly loaded cargo may fly off a moving truck, as well, forcing other drivers to take evasive action. 

8. Poor Weather

Sometimes, weather conditions contribute to trucking accidents in Ocala. Trucks have a more challenging time stopping quickly due to their size and weight, even in good weather. During heavy rainstorms, it’s even more difficult for trucks to stop.

When trucks cannot slow down in time, they could end up rear-ending the vehicle in front of them. 

9. Damage to the Road

Potholes and uneven pavement create hazards for truck drivers. In some cases, poor road conditions make it harder for truck operators to keep their vehicles under control.

In some areas of Ocala, truckers may also end up dealing with confusing road signs. These signs create a challenge for drivers trying to navigate tricky intersections safely.

Finally, truck drivers often have a harder time operating their vehicles when moving through a construction zone. Cramped spaces and concrete barricades impact a truck driver’s ability to drive safely. 

10. Defective Vehicles

Truck manufacturers produce some vehicles that have severe defects. In some cases, companies do not notice these defects in time to issue a recall. As a result, systems on these vehicles could fail at any time, resulting in a collision. 

Find More Information About Truck Accidents in Ocala

We’ve covered the top 10 causes of truck accidents. You can continue to learn more about these collisions with our law firm. The team at Pamela Olsen Law puts you first if you were struck by a large truck in Ocala, FL. 

We focus on building your claim, helping you with insurance agents, and going over your legal options. Find out more by calling 352-671-9777.

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About the Author

Pam Olsen

Ms. Olsen has practiced law since 1992. During her law school education and throughout career she knew, if it is not about people, she is not interested. Everything about people interests Ms. Olsen from the simple details of living to the most profound. She began her law career in a skyscraper in downtown Miami representing corporate interests. Within a VERY short time, Pam knew that side of the things in the world was not for her.

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