Large truck accidents killed more than 4,000 people in 2017 across the U.S. and injured another 170,000. In South Carolina, there were nearly 5,000 tractor-trailer collisions that same year. Not only do these crashes happen frequently, when they occur, the occupants of the smaller vehicles are more likely to suffer serious injuries. The taller, heavier trucks can inflict significantly more damage on the other, lighter vehicles on the road. While there are a wide range of factors that can cause roadway crashes, there are some common causes of these dangerous truck accidents.
When Professional Drivers Cause a Truck Accident
Driver error is the leading cause of all car accidents across the U.S., and large truck accidents are no different. Truck driver mistakes do result in dangerous crashes, most often due to:
Truckers are under pressure to deliver their goods in a timely manner, and they may sacrifice their own rest to meet employer demands. Research has shown that fatigue make drivers less able to concentrate and slower to respond to changing conditions on the road, and commercial drivers are noted as among those who are most likely to drive drowsy.
More than 180 truck crashes in 2017 involved a driver who had been drinking. While it’s dangerous for any driver to get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the stakes are even higher when the vehicle is a heavy truck. Despite strict regulations and significant consequences for commercial drivers, drunk driving accidents do still happen.
Speeding is a common occurrence on the road and a behavior that many people do not take seriously. However, speeding is a leading cause of accidents. Large trucks need greater stopping distance which they may not have if traveling above the posted speed limit.
Driving a commercial vehicle requires specific training and understanding of the vehicle. It’s important for drivers to know how their truck works, as well as the limitations of their vehicle. When a driver has not been properly trained for the job, he may not be able to take the steps necessary to avoid a dangerous crash.
Vehicle Issues Can Also Contribute to Truck Crashes
Even when a truck driver does his best to operate safely on the road, there are other factors that can contribute to a large truck crash. Problems with the vehicle can lead to an accident, including:
Truck drivers are required by federal law to inspect and repair their vehicles on a routine basis. However, many drivers and their employers fail to complete these inspections, and even when they are done, the issues discovered are not always properly addressed.
Commercial trucks carry large heavy loads, and this cargo needs to be properly packed on the truck. If the cargo shifts, spills, or falls, it can cause a serious crash.
At times, the design of the tractor-trailer itself can contribute to an accident. When a manufacturer brings a vehicle to the market that hasn’t been designed appropriately or was assembled with defective parts, it can be held responsible.
Our Myrtle Beach Truck Accidents Lawyer Can Help
Truck accidents are among the most dangerous type of crashes on the road. Victims often suffer serious, long-lasting injuries that significantly impact their financial and emotional health and may require lengthy medical treatment that forces them to miss work and seriously change their daily lives. Our Myrtle Beach attorneys are here to help victims and their families understand their rights.
Have You Been Injured In A South Carolina Area Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one was injured in a commercial truck accident in South Carolina, you should speak with a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Charleston, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.2359 to schedule your consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.