Top Causes of Big Rig and Truck Accidents

In 2019, 4,119 lives were lost in large truck crashes in the United States. This number represents a slight decline from the 2018 figure of 4,164. Unfortunately, in North Carolina, things are quite similar. The state is home to a considerable number of truck accidents, according to the NC Department of Transportation.

In 2019, the NC DOT showed there were over 15,000 truck accidents in the state, with 4,759 attributed to tractor or semi-trailer trucks.

Because of their size and weight, accidents with this type of vehicle can be catastrophic. In fact, this one category resulted in over 1,100 injuries and 61 deaths.

If you have been involved in a North Carolina commercial trucking accident or 18-wheeler big rig truck wreck, contact the Asheville truck attorney at Lakota R. Denton for help with everything related to Asheville truck accident law.

What Are Some of the Top Causes of Truck Accidents?

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Big Rig Trucks Are Much Bigger Than Most Other Vehicles

Truck accidents are understandably far more hazardous than typical crashes between passenger vehicles. The tremendous weight and size of a truck magnify the potential for destruction, injury, and death.

The average passenger vehicle weighs around 2 tons, but a fully-loaded 18-wheeler can weigh 40 times as much.

The heightened dangers involved are clear. Unfortunately, the occupants of passenger vehicles are usually the ones who suffer the most.

Knowing the top causes of truck accidents can help you be an alert and safe truck driver or a defensive passenger car driver. In either case, it’s up to all drivers, regardless of the size of their vehicles, to help prevent accidents.

Top Causes Of Big Rig 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents

  1. Fatigue
  2. Distraction
  3. Speeding
  4. Truck Braking Capability
  5. Slippery Roads

Big Rig Drivers Are Some of the Most Skilled Drivers

For the most part, drivers of big rigs and commercial trucks are patient, experienced, and quite skilled at what they do. Nevertheless, trucks are the source of devastating accidents for many reasons.

Issues like drivers’ schedules, road conditions, loading processes and speed can all result in a loss of control and, ultimately, an accident. When this happens, damage and injury can be significant, especially when the truck collides with a smaller passenger vehicle.

Truck Driver Fatigue & Truck Maintenance Issues

Both of these are often the cause of accidents. Truck drivers work incredibly long hours. Legally, they are allowed to drive for 11 hours at a time. As a result of unrealistic schedules, operators are overworked and truck maintenance may be overlooked. Often neither is realized until after an accident occurs.

Sometimes, the fate of a truck is sealed before it even hits the road. It may be loaded improperly or have poor cargo balance. Additionally, inclement weather and road conditions are also often factors in accidents.

Finally, truck braking capability can affect crashes. Loaded tractor-trailers take 20-40 percent farther than cars to stop, and the discrepancy is greater on wet and slippery roads or with poorly maintained brakes.

Truck Accident Trends in 2019

A total of 4,110 people died in large truck crashes in 2019. Sixteen percent of these deaths were truck occupants, 67% were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, and 15% were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.

There is no doubt that the people who get seriously hurt or die are the people who are in the smaller vehicles. Quite often, the truck drivers remain uninjured.

Truck Accident Deaths Up 31% Since 2009

The number of people who died in large truck crashes was 31% higher in 2019 than in 2009 when it was the lowest it has been since the collection of fatal crash data began in 1975.  The number of truck occupants who died was 51% higher than in 2009.

2019 Large Truck Fatal Crash Data

  • At least 29% of large truck occupants killed in crashes were not wearing a seatbelt
  • 48% of large truck crash deaths occurred between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • 52% percent of deaths in large truck crashes took place on major roads other than freeways and interstates.
  • 64% percent of large truck occupants killed in multiple-vehicle crashes were in accidents between two large trucks.
  • 11% of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2019 occurred in large truck crashes.

While causes of truck accidents are important to understand, other questions often arise. Two of the most frequently asked include:

  • “Who is personally responsible for a truck accident?”
  • “How can I pursue legal remedies or damages from the wrongful party?”

Accidents involving trucks differ considerably from those involving only passenger vehicles. Because of the special factors involved, you need the advice and counsel of a personal injury lawyer who focuses on truck accidents and big rig crashes, like attorney Lakota Denton.

How to Find an NC Truck Accident Lawyer

Contact Our Asheville Big Rig Accident Attorneys

If you have been injured in a truck or big rig 18-wheeler accident, you need the services of a truck accident lawyer. Contact Lakota R. Denton, an Asheville, North Carolina, truck wreck lawyer, for a free consultation.

Contact our Asheville, NC, semi-truck accident lawyers today to schedule a free consultation. We will work with you to gain an understanding of your experience and develop a plan to move forward. We will manage the process from start to finish so you can focus on your health.  Additionally, we can assist you with pursuing compensation for any serious injury resulting from a motor vehicle accident of any kind, including car accidents, pedestrian accidents, and motorcycle accidents.

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