What Causes Most Semi Truck Accidents?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are many reasons why these accidents happen, including:


  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding or reckless driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Failing to properly train truck drivers
  • Negligent hiring by the trucking company
  • Failing to enforce break periods for drivers
  • Failing to maintain semi trucks to a quality standard


If you’ve been in an accident involving a semi truck, you can learn how to track the accidents of a driver’s trucking company by visiting the FMCSA website and selecting the section called, ‘Company Snapshot.’ This can help you uncover the safety record of the truck that hit you and assist in sorting out the cause of the accident. If a company has a record of hiring irresponsible drivers or any type of negligence, this can strengthen your case.


When a catastrophic accident like this occurs, you want to know what the average semi truck accident settlement is to know what you may be entitled to. By working with a Strom Law truck accident attorney in South Carolina, you can maximize the amount of your settlement to receive what you deserve financially.


Top Three Causes of Trucking Accidents


Even though there are many reasons why semi truck accidents happen, there are five causes that are the most common. The FMCSA recently conducted a study detailing these five common causes for accidents:


Driver Error


Driver error is ten times more likely to be the cause of a semi truck accident than any other factor, according to the FMCSA study. The FMCSA determined that in its sample size of 141,000 truck accidents, driver error made up more than half of the causes for the accidents.


One example of driver error is nonperformance. In these cases, the driver of the semi truck may have fallen asleep or was physically or medically impaired while driving. This can include, but is not limited to, heart attacks and seizures.


Other examples include:


  • Recognition: The driver was inattentive or distracted while driving.
  • Decision: The driver was driving too fast for the conditions, misjudged the speed of other vehicles, or was following other vehicles too closely.
  • Performance: The driver exercised poor control of the vehicle or overcompensated, resulting in the accident.


Driver Training


With so many driver errors on the road, it makes sense to look at the trucking company’s policies and training. It is projected that trucks will carry 40% more freight over the next thirty years than they already do, and with an increase in volume and a current driver shortage, these trucking companies may feel the pressure to hire less experienced drivers.


Equipment Failure


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Fatal Causation Study found that 55% of truck accidents had at least one mechanical failure. 30% of these trucks had a minimum of one out-of-service equipment issue. Common equipment failures include:


  • Faulty or poorly-maintained brakes
  • Transmission failure
  • Part manufacturing defects
  • Unbalanced cargo
  • Worn or improperly inflated tires
  • Overall poor maintenance


Strom Law Cares


The stress, injury, and other damages caused by a semi truck accident can be devastating, but you don’t need to advocate for yourself alone. Strom Law’s compassionate legal team of experts uses experience, research, and dedication to guide our clients to make the right legal decisions for themselves. 




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