With more than 3.5 million truckers in Pennsylvania and across the U.S., it's not surprising that some accidents involve large trucks. There are a number of ways in which truckers can cause accidents that other drivers should be aware of. Below are eight of the most frequently reported causes.
Speeding among truckers, especially those who are paid by the load and not by the hour, is the leading cause of crashes. This is followed by equipment failure and, specifically, brake malfunctions. Truckers are required to give their vehicles regular inspections, and neglecting this will only allow the wear and tear that the truck incurs to cause a breakdown. Brake failure can lead to a runaway truck.
Fourth, there is the problem of improper cargo loading. Unbalanced cargo may cause a truck to jackknife or roll over, and loose cargo can fall out and become a roadside hazard. Truckers can also crash because of drowsy, drunk or distracted driving. Fatigue can come over them if they drive too long in their effort to deliver cargo on time. Alcohol, in addition to cigarettes and other substances, can take drivers' attention from the road.
Bad weather is the last common factor. Truckers can hydroplane in rainy weather, for example, and this is especially true when their trucks are empty of cargo.
Truck accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries or even death. Those who survive a crash and who believe that the other side is more at fault than they are may want to ask for a case evaluation from a lawyer. They may have a valid case under personal injury law. A lot depends on whether they have fault or no-fault insurance since Pennsylvania is a hybrid state. If victims file a claim against the other's insurance company, the lawyer may assist at negotiations.