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Common Causes of Truck Accidents in the West

Jun 19, 2015

For obvious reasons, truck accidents often have devastating consequences. Straight trucks and tractor trailers are big, heavy and hard to stop when something goes wrong. As a result, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that accidents involving commercial trucks are 10 times as likely to result in fatal injuries when compared to accidents involving ordinary vehicles.

With our oil fields and interstate highways, Wyoming has a particularly-high incident rate for collisions involving commercial trucks. In fact, out of all 50 states, Wyoming has the highest rate of fatalities per capita resulting from trucking accidents. With these statistics in mind, let's take a look at some of the most common causes of truck accidents in the West.

Distracted Driving Distracted driving is one of the most frequent causes of all types of vehicle accidents – trucking accidents included. Some of the common driving distractions that can lead to collisions include:

• Texting • Checking and sending emails • Talking on the phone or radio • Checking directions or setting a GPS device • Eating and drinking

It only takes a split second for circumstances to change on the road. When a trucker is not paying attention or does not have his or her hands on the wheel, by the time they regain focus it may be too late to avoid a collision.

Driver Fatigue While truckers are subject to stringent regulations regarding the number of hours they put in behind the wheel, they are also often incentivized to drive as much as possible. This leads many truckers to drive well past the time when they should have pulled over for a break. Drowsy driving can lead to impaired risk apprehension, delayed reaction time, and falling asleep behind the wheel.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs Driving under the influence is another common cause of trucking accidents. Along with alcohol and illegal drugs, many truck accidents also involve prescription and over-the-counter medications. Truckers who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs put themselves and the people around them at serious risk for life-changing and life-threatening injuries.

Other Common Causes In addition to these and other forms of driver error, there are a number of other common causes for which other parties may be to blame. These include:

• Defective parts (such as tires, brakes, accelerators and transmissions) • Faulty truck maintenance or repairs • Improperly-secured cargo loads • Negligent entrustment and failure to provide adequate training • Potholes and other dangerous road conditions • Violation of federal and state trucking regulations

In any truck accident, it is critical to conduct a thorough investigation to identify all of the parties that may be responsible for your injuries. While the truck driver's insurance coverage may limit the amount you can recover based on driver error, if the trucking company, manufacturer or another deep-pocketed entity is to blame, you may have a significantly better chance of recovering substantial compensation.

The Spence Law Firm | Your Wyoming Truck Accident Attorneys At The Spence Law Firm, we have decades of experience representing truck accident victims and we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients' injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a truck accident, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

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If you are struggling with a serious injury, or are fighting against seemingly impossible odds against big corporations, insurance companies or the government, call us to speak with our team of trial lawyers who will fight for you. We take no fee unless we earn it by winning your case.