Learn about the most common causes of trucking accidents, in this helpful guide from the Green Law Firm, P.C.
It is estimated that over 15 million trucks travel more than 150 billion miles across the United States each and every year. Many of these trucks travel from New York to California each and every day by passing through the State of Colorado. This booming trucking industry rakes in over $250 billion in annual revenue. Yet this high profit comes at quite an expense. It is estimated that more than a half-million trucking accidents occur each year—and are responsible for 1 out of every 8 traffic fatalities.
Profits often drive trucking companies and truck drivers to routinely break both state and federal trucking rules and regulations. Truck drivers may extend their hours on the road in order to deliver their goods on time. While trucking companies may overload vehicles or cut corners in maintenance to save money. When this occurs, devastating trucking accidents can—and do—occur.
Big Rig vs Car
The average fully loaded big rig weighs close to 80,000 pounds. The average car on the road weighs just 3,000 pounds. When these two vehicles collide, the passengers in the car are the ones that are severely injured. These injuries are often life threatening and can result in permanent disability, disfigurement, and even death.
Why do Trucking Accidents Occur?
There are numerous reasons why a trucking accident may occur in Colorado and all of these factors must be considered carefully before filing a claim. In many cases there may be multiple parties to blame for the crash, including the truck driver, the trucking company, and even the truck owner.
- Inexperienced Drivers: Trucking companies have a responsibility to properly train their drivers and to ensure that all their drivers are licensed and experienced. Yet many trucking companies fail to perform the necessary background checks on their drivers or they fail to train them properly. When an emergency situation arises on the road, these drivers are inexperienced and unable to perform basic safety maneuvers to avoid collisions.
- Working Long Hours & Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers only get paid for the time they drive. Likewise, a trucking company only gets paid when goods are delivered. The result is that many truck drivers routinely drive longer than federal and state laws allow—and trucking companies turn a blind-eye to this practice. In fact, some even encourage their drivers to drive long hours. Truck driver fatigue is deadly and responsible for up to 31% of all truck crashes.
- Cutting Maintenance: Trucking companies are supposed to perform periodic and routine maintenance on their vehicles. This includes keeping new tires on their trucks, checking brakes and rotors, and pulling any vehicle that does not pass safety checks. Unfortunately, trucking companies routinely “forget” to perform the maintenance required on their vehicles. Poorly maintained trucks can lead to blowouts, jackknife accidents, and brake failure.
- Improperly Secure Cargo or Overloaded Cargo: A semi-truck’s cargo must be properly secured or it can cause the truck to lose balance and swerve in traffic. Likewise, a truck should not be overloaded. An overloaded truck is more difficult to stop and maneuver in traffic, causing serious and often fatal accidents.