Rear-end accidents caused by truckers are significantly more serious than those caused by motorists driving passenger vehicles. That is because a truck can weigh 80,000 pounds—huge in comparison to a smaller, lighter vehicle. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truckers caused 82 deaths and 6,000 injuries in rear-end collisions in 2013. Like with passenger vehicle rear-end collisions, the trucker rear-ending another vehicle is almost always found at fault in causing these crashes.
Why Do Truck Rear-End Accidents Happen?
It is even more important that truckers follow the rule to stay a safe distance from the vehicles in front of them than other motorists given the damage any accident with a truck can cause. Unfortunately, truckers sometimes ignore this rule and cause rear-end collisions for the following reasons:
- Fatigue. When truckers drive long hours—10 hours or more without a break—they can become fatigued or even worse, fall asleep while driving. This can result in them not noticing the vehicle in front of them slowing down or stopping, with disastrous results.
- Distracted driving. If a trucker’s eyes and mind are not on his driving because he is eating and drinking, looking at his GPS, or talking or texting on his cellphone, the risk that he will rear-end someone increases dramatically.
- Congested traffic. Anyone who drives on the roads and highways in the Dallas and Fort Worth area knows they are extremely congested. A trucker not exercising even more care than normal on these roadways or who is impatient and tailgating other motorists can easily cause a rear-end collision.
- Malfunctioning brakes. Trucks take more time than other vehicles to slow down and stop. When a truck's brakes are in need of repair or have been adjusted or depowered to save money, they could malfunction, with victims paying a horrible price.
- Weather. When truckers do not slow down for weather conditions, like heavy rain, fog, or ice, a crash is the likely result, especially on our busy roadways.
- Impaired driving. Alcohol and drug consumption before driving can impair a trucker’s reaction time and general driving skills. Even some over-the-counter or prescription drugs can reduce a truck driver’s ability to drive safely.
Truck crashes are more complex because of the different mechanical components and the federal regulations governing truckers and trucking companies. The legal team at the Hart Law Firm understands the unique characteristics of these cases and has a reputation of not being afraid to file a lawsuit if an insurance company adjuster refuses to offer a fair settlement. Start an online chat today or call us at (817) 380-4888 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.