Sharing the road with commercial trucks is common in Pennsylvania. Semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and big rigs transport goods throughout Pennsylvania. Even though large trucks are an effective form of transportation, they can also be deadly for other motorists sharing the road with the large trucks. Sadly, many truck accident causes are avoidable.
In 2018, there were 531,000 large trucks involved in truck accidents nationwide. That year, 4,951 people died and over 151,000 people sustained in large truck accidents. In Pennsylvania, 139 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2018. Almost three-fourths of the people injured or killed in large truck accidents were occupants of other vehicles.
Five Common Truck Accident Causes in Pennsylvania
Many truck accident causes are related to driver negligence. However, there are other reasons for truck accidents.
Common truck accident causes include:
1. Truck Driver Errors and Negligence
Truck driver errors and negligence are some of the most common causes of large truck accidents. Example of truck driver negligence that can lead to a truck crash include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued and drowsy driving
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Failing to follow traffic laws
Truck drivers who cause an accident can be held liable for their negligence. However, trucking companies could share in the liability for the claim.
For example, if the trucking company sets unrealistic delivery deadlines, fails to train drivers, or fails to conduct background checks, the truck company could also be liable for a truck crash.
2. Lack of Maintenance
Commercial vehicles are complex machines. They require constant inspection and maintenance to ensure they operate safely. If a truck owner or a trucking company fails to conduct routine inspections and maintain the truck, it could be liable if the truck is involved in a truck accident.
3. Defective Systems and Parts
Defective truck parts or truck systems could cause some large truck accidents. A truck’s manufacturer could be liable for a defective product claim if a defective truck part leads to a crash. For example, the steering system or brake system could fail because of a defect. A defective tire could cause a blowout and lead to a truck accident.
4. Improperly Loaded Cargo
Shippers and loaders must be careful when loading cargo. Improperly loaded cargo could shift, causing the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle. Overloaded trucks take longer to stop, which could lead to a large truck accident.
5. Weather and Road Conditions
Adverse weather conditions and hazardous road conditions can also be factors in some truck crashes. However, a truck driver may also be liable if the driver does not adjust the truck’s speed and his driving when he encounters poor weather conditions or the road conditions change.
Call an Erie Truck Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
An immediate and comprehensive truck accident investigation determines how the crash occurred and who is liable for the accident. Our legal team has substantial experience handling truck accident cases. We take immediate steps to secure evidence that could prove liability for the crash.
Call (800) 401-2066 now to schedule your free legal consultation to discuss your case with a truck accident lawyer in Erie, PA.