Causes of Large Truck Accidents

Large trucks have the potential to cause serious car accidents across the state of Florida. In 2007, there were 4,361 large truck accidents in Florida and over half of those crashes resulted in injuries. Since large trucks present an even greater risk to other cars on the road, research has been done to try and determine what causes these large trucks to crash.A couple of years ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration along with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, conducted a thorough research study into the causes of serious crashes involving large trucks.

The trucks studied had a gross vehicle weight rating over 10,000 pounds. Researchers examined a nationally representative sample of 963 crashes from the 120,000 large truck accidents that occurred between April 2001 and December 2003. These crashes included 1,123 large trucks and 959 motor vehicles. There were 1,654 injuries resulting from the truck accidents and 249 deaths.

Researchers identified various elements that took place hours, days or even months before the truck crash. These elements included driver training and experience, vehicle design, highway condition, traffic signaling and weather conditions. Some other factors were noted that played a role in the truck accident, such as tire blowout, snow and a decision to turn in traffic.

Critical events were also examined to help determine the cause of large truck crashes. The top three types of critical events assigned to the large trucks were as follows:

  • Running out of travel lane
  • Loss of control of the vehicle, caused by driving too fast for conditions, cargo shift, vehicle systems failure, poor road conditions or other reasons
  • Rear end collision with another vehicle in the truck’s lane

There were also hundreds of associated factors collected by researchers for each vehicle in the truck crash. The top ten factors included:

  • Brake problems
  • Traffic flow interruption
  • Use of prescription drug
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Roadway unfamiliarity
  • Problems with the road
  • Required stop
  • Use of over-the-counter medicine
  • Inadequate surveillance
  • Fatigue

No matter the cause, serious injuries can result from truck crashes. When a large truck hits a passenger vehicle, the impact is substantial. Many times the driver and/or passengers of the other vehicle sustain permanent injuries.

Truck accident cases are complex and require a thorough understanding of Florida law. If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident in Florida, contact the experienced truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Lilly, O’Toole & Brown, LLP at (863) 683-1111 for advice regarding your tractor trailer accident case.