Common Causes Of Truck Accidents

Every year, thousands of accidents involving over-the-road and local delivery trucks happen. Many of these accidents cause life-changing injuries or death.Trucking companies use many methods to limit their liability when such accidents occur. But at Perry & Young, P.A., in Panama City, Florida, we have a variety of investigative tools we use to provide liability in truck accident cases. If you or a loved one has suffered harm due to the negligence of a trucking company or truck driver, we will work tirelessly to obtain compensation for you.Call us at 850-215-7777 for a free consultation with an attorney.

How Do Truck Accidents Happen?

Some of the common causes of truck accidents include the following:

Truck driver fatigue — Drivers may fail to follow federal regulations concerning driving hours and rest breaks, resulting in tired drivers and slow reaction time.

Truck driver carelessness — Some drivers operate laptop computers or other hand-held devices or even watch videos while driving. Others are simply careless when passing, turning or changing lanes.

Driver’s use of alcohol and drugs — Some drivers take over-the-counter or illegal medications, or consume alcohol before driving.

Overloaded trucks and unstable cargo — This can result in a jackknife accident, brake failure or cause a truck to roll over on a freeway off ramp. Loose cargo can also spill out of an open truck and onto the road.

Negligence in screening and hiring drivers — These days, there is a nationwide shortage of truck drivers. Some trucking companies may fail to properly vet drivers or choose to overlook rule infractions by drivers.

Inadequate truck maintenance — Trucking companies may fail to keep their vehicles in top running condition. Drivers are required to inspect their tires daily and conduct periodic brake checks, but they may fail to do so.

Defective truck components — A tire, brakes or another critical truck component can fail due to defects in design or manufacture.

The Importance Of Investigation

In a big rig truck accident case, there are many resources that can reveal clues as to what really happened to cause the accident. Most over-the-road trucks carry GPS-monitored black boxes that record the speed and location of the vehicle. Federal law requires drivers to maintain logbooks noting the time driven and rest periods (though some drivers do enter false information). Trucking companies keep maintenance and repair records, though again, these can be altered or destroyed in the event of an accident.

When representing you, our law firm will act quickly to initiate legal action and preserve important evidence. We will retain the services of an experienced accident reconstruction professional who will visit the accident scene and collect other information vital to your case.

Truck Driver Fatigue Causes Accidents

A fatigued driver is a dangerous driver, and dangerous drivers cause accidents. This fact is especially true regarding tired truck drivers who are fully in control of their vehicles.Long-haul truck drivers are required to follow federal regulations that define the length of time they can drive in a shift and required rest breaks. But many fail to follow these regulations. When an accident happens, they may try to alter their logbooks to hide their negligence.At the law firm of Perry & Young, P.A., we aggressively pursue compensation for our clients, by conducting comprehensive investigations to document the rule-breaking behavior of truck drivers and trucking companies.Call us at 850-215-7777 for a free consultation about a truck accident case. We can meet with you in our offices in Panama City, Marianna and Tallahassee, or a location that is convenient for you.

Causes Of Truck Driver Fatigue

When it comes to truck driver fatigue, the issue of long-haul truck driver compensation is at the heart of the problem. Almost all over-the-road truck drivers are paid in one of two ways — on a per mile basis or on a flat-fee, per load basis. Both of these compensation schemes provide drivers with a strong incentive to drive fast and for long periods of time.

Truck drivers may skip their required rest periods or drive for longer periods than federal regulations allow. They may also use over-the-counter or illegal stimulants to stay awake, but these may only serve to slow reaction times and result in a sudden loss of alertness when the medication wears off. Some truck drivers operate in teams — one drives while the other gets some fitful sleep in the cab’s bunk. But studies show that a person is not fully awake for at least 20 minutes after rising.

Areas of Practice