Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration tackled the question of what causes truck accidents, it took a detailed look at nearly 1,000 collisions involving large trucks. For every accident, data was collected on up to 1,000 factors, including the behavior of the truck driver before the crash and during the crash, road conditions, weather, etc.
They also searched in each crash for a critical event; the event that put the truck “on a course that made the collision unavoidable.” For each crash, a critical reason was also determined (the critical reason is “the failure leading to the critical event”) and includes things such as driver error, equipment failure or weather conditions.
Let’s take a quick look at how some of the data came together to tell us what causes 18-wheeler accidents. In the critical event category, researchers divided crashes into three groups. The first group involves accidents caused by trucks that left their travel lane (going into another lane or off of the road). One third of truck accidents involved this critical event. A second type of critical event: trucks going too fast for conditions, a cargo shift, vehicle failure, etc. This second group included 29 percent of truck accidents.
The third type of critical event involved 22 percent of truck crashes: tractor-trailers that rear-ended the vehicle ahead of them.
The vast majority of the reasons for those critical events are driver-related. Only 13 percent were due to vehicle malfunctions or caused by poor road conditions.
Truckers were in 23 percent of the cases studied, driving too fast. Another 17 percent were using over-the-counter drugs that affected their ability to drive safely. Inattention and distractions (inside and outside of the trucks) accounted for another 23 percent of crashes. Trucker fatigue accounted for 13 percent.
The paper released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is a treasure trove of useful data. For a person injured in a collision with a big rig, however, they want to know what caused their accident and why they must suffer with brain trauma, shattered limbs, spinal cord damage and other typically severe injuries in these violent crashes.
A law firm experienced in helping determine which factors were crucial in making the accident — and the injuries — unavoidable helps you receive full, fair compensation for pain and suffering, surgeries, hospitalization, job loss and more.