Upwards of 80,000 pounds and 70 to 80 feet long, 18-wheelers make quite an impression on the roadways of South Dakota and elsewhere. If you are like most other motorists, you may tend to increase your speed in order to get around them quickly and may not be comfortable seeing one coming toward you in your rearview mirror.
Your instincts to be wary of these massive vehicles may not be as unfounded as you think. Accidents involving trucks often result in catastrophic injuries for people in smaller vehicles. If you end up in an accident with an 18-wheeler, you will more than likely suffer serious injuries, and your accident may be due to one of five common causes of truck accidents.
These reasons constitute the most common causes
When it comes to truck accidents, the data indicates that these five causes appear most often:
- Trucks and poor maintenance: Considering the number of miles these trucks travel, the maintenance demands are many and frequent. Neglecting to properly maintain a truck could easily lead to equipment failures during transit.
- Trucks and defective equipment: Poor maintenance isn’t the only thing that can cause a truck’s equipment to fail. Manufacturer defects may result in the same failures.
- Trucks and improper loading: Since their center of gravity is so high, it’s crucial to make sure the trailer is loaded properly and balanced. Cargo must also be secured properly in order to prevent it from shifting during transit.
- Trucks and bad weather: Trucks don’t stop on a dime when the weather and road conditions are perfect. Inclement weather makes maintaining control of a truck that much harder, especially if the driver fails to make the appropriate driving adjustments for the prevailing conditions.
- Trucks and truck drivers: Last but not least, truck drivers are human, and they make mistakes. Moreover, if they give in to distraction, drowsiness or impairment, they become even more of a hazard to everyone on the road.
If the truck driver shoulders the blame for your accident, the odds are high it was due to one or more of these reasons. A thorough investigation into your accident will more than likely reveal where the negligence that caused your injuries occurred, along with who may bear legal responsibility for them. Understanding the factors that led to the crash may help you in your pursuit of the compensation you deserve.