The Most Common Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Vehicular accidents cause numerous injuries and casualties every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is in charge of monitoring these incidents. According to the NHTSA, more than 37,000 people died in the U.S. in 2016 because of vehicular accidents. This places the average at more than 100 people dying on a daily basis. In the same year, about 4,440 crashes had buses and trucks involved. This number does not count other commercial vehicles. On a smaller scale, 974 people died due to vehicle accidents in 2018, according to the Michigan State Police.
This trend is not limited to the United States alone. The estimated number of fatalities in 2016 due to vehicular accidents was around 1,350,000 people. This is according to data published by the World Health Organization. Just because it is a common trend does not make it acceptable.
The effects of vehicular accidents on survivors
Vehicular accidents can impact the lives of the survivors in many ways. Crashes can seriously diminish a person’s quality of life post-accident. Recovery from the trauma can take a very long time and costs a lot of money. Some of the effects of vehicular accidents on survivors are the following:
- Permanent physical injuries: The most severe non-fatal accidents can lead to permanent disabilities. These are all too common.
- Psychological trauma: Many survivors were also affected by the psychological trauma of some sort. Some cases can even lead to mental disorders. Some of the ones that can be caused by accidents of this sort are PTSD and anxiety.
Causes of commercial vehicle accidents
Some of the most common commercial vehicles that cause fatalities are large trucks. This is unsurprising, owing to their size and bulk. Other factors have to be considered regarding how large trucks cause accidents. A causation study done by the FMCSA published the following findings:
- Running off to other lanes: Trucks quickly moving off the road or suddenly switching to other lanes is a major cause. 32% of the trucks surveyed caused a vehicle accident as a result.
- Loss of control: Another primary reason is the loss of control of the vehicle. This can be because of various reasons. Some of these include speeding, shifting cargo, travel conditions, or vehicular failure. 29% of the trucks surveyed had this reason for causing a vehicle accident.
- Rear-ending another vehicle: This refers to a collision with the tail end of another car. This can lead to more vehicles being involved in the crash. 22% of trucks reported this as a reason.
Conditions that can lead to commercial vehicle accidents
Accidents are caused by various factors. The major conditions that can cause vehicle accidents are either driver-related, environment-related, or vehicle-related. The same causation study also surveyed the conditions that can lead to trucking accidents. Some of the top reasons for accidents include the following:
- Brakes: Problems with malfunctioning brakes is the prime reason stated by drivers. This was seen in 29% of cases.
- Speeding: Some drivers travel faster than what outside conditions allow. This was reported in 23% of cases.
- Unfamiliar roads: Some truck drivers who were not familiar with the roads they were traveling on also caused accidents. This was the case in 23% of the accidents.
- Road problems: Problems with roads are also a chief cause for commercial vehicle accidents. 20% of crashes were caused by road problems.
- Medications: Some drivers reported taking over-the-counter medications before driving. The influence of these medications led to 17% of the accidents.
- Surveillance: Not enough surveillance by the driver accounted for 14% of the accident cases.
- Fatigue: Truck drivers frequently need to travel long hours to meet deadlines. Tiredness and fatigue cause lower responses and can definitely lead to accidents. Fatigue was reported as the reason for accidents in 13% of cases.
- Work pressure: The deadlines that truck drivers face can often cause them to drive recklessly. Work pressure was reported in 10% of accidents.
Note, however, that other reasons and conditions could cause commercial vehicle accidents apart from the eight listed above.
Contact a Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer Today
Were you involved in a commercial vehicle accident? These are quite common, and there are laws that protect you should you be involved. An experienced commercial vehicle accident lawyer will help you ensure that your rights are protected. Contact us at The Clark Law Office (517) 347-6900 as soon as possible today.