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What Percentage of Accidents Are Caused by Semi Truck Drivers

What Percentage of Accidents Are Caused by Semi Truck Drivers?

Each year it’s estimated that there are over 4,000 fatalities due to semi-truck accidents. A semi accident is classified differently from traditional car crashes due to its tragic outcome. Since semis are larger and heavier, the passager vehicle driver is 40 times more likely to die than the truck driver.  

With that in mind, you may wonder what’s the cause of semi-truck accidents and what you can do if you’re ever in an accident? That’s why we’ve investigated everything you need to know about truck accidents. That way, you can determine your next steps. 

Now, are you ready to get started? Here’s an in-depth look at semi-accidents in Houston, Texas: 

Who Causes Truck Accidents?  

Most people assume that accidents involving a semi are caused by the semi-truck. However, that’s not always the case; in a recent study, reports found that over 70% of accidents are caused by passenger vehicles. Whereas about 17% of the time, the truck driver is at fault, and in 14% of cases, both drivers are at fault.  

Now, let’s take a deeper look at these statistics. Half of the time, the person that is in a passager vehicle dies, so they can’t tell their side of the story, which could skew the data. With that said, when both drivers survive, the driver of the passager vehicle is two times more likely to be at fault than the semi-driver. 

So, what does that tell us? That most of the time, passager drivers cause the accident vs. semi-drivers. This can be explained by distracted driving and drunk driving.  

Why Does Fault Matter?  

Now that we know what causes most accidents let’s look at why fault matters. Normally, an investigation is drawn up after an accident to see whose fault it was, namely for insurance purposes. If it was the truck driver, you could file a truck accident claim, and because the truck driver was at fault, you could receive a larger amount of compensation. 

Always contact an attorney before you admit fault or sign a settlement. An accident lawyer will help you examine all the evidence to see if there’s an additional case to be made. 

Accidents Caused By Semi-Truck Drivers In Houston, Texas

Accidents that truck drivers cause tend to happen for seven reasons. We’ve outlined each of the reasons; below; that way, you can learn more: 

1. Driver Error  

Driver error is the leading cause of accidents caused by truck drivers. Driver error includes speeding, failure to look in blind spots, as well as engaging in distracted driving. While many truck drivers abide by the trucking work and safety laws, others still work long hours, which can result in confusion. This puts truck drivers at in high risk of making errors and causing a crash because of those errors.  

2. Driver Fatigue 

Driver fatigue is a serious issue within the trucking industry. While hours are dedicated and limited by law, that doesn’t mean that driving for hours is easy. Some drivers force themselves to stay awake when driving long hours enough though they should be resting.  

Truck drivers are compensated more when they arrive at destinations faster or take long drives. Thus, drivers are forced to place themselves in unsafe weather conditions and possibly ignore safe driving protocols to get more money. 

This leaves drivers exhausted, which can cause some to fall asleep at the wheel and cause a crash. After all, it’s been estimated that driver exhaustion is what causes more than 30% of all truck driver faulty accidents. 

3. Distracted Driving  

Just as distracted driving is a problem for passager vehicles, it’s also a leading case in truck accidents. It’s easy for a driver to get bored on the road when they have been driving for seven hours or more. 

This boredom leads some drivers to take their attention off the road and sometimes off the wheel while they do other tasks. Some drivers will eat, drink, and daydream to end their boredom. Others look at their phone or engage in texting while driving.  

Texting while driving has become the leading cause of distracted driving. Drivers will look down at their phones, text back a short message, and in that time, a car could merge in front or behind the trucker. Leaving him or her not enough time to step on the brakes, resulting in a crash. 

It’s that easy for something dire to happen when drivers take their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel. Thus, distracted driving is a top cause of all truck driving accidents.  

4. Failing to Secure Loads  

Any product a truck is carrying needs to be tightly packed and carefully secured. That way, the product’s weight is evenly distributed on the truck. 

However, if the product isn’t properly secured, it can lead to items falling from the truck, which poses a potential road hazard and could cause an accident. If the product is particularly heavy and its weight isn’t distributed correctly, it could cause the truck to tip when turning or going up hills. 

Now, either of those scenarios is not good and can result in not only a crash but a multiple-car crash. Failing to secure loads is not among the top three causes of truck accidents; thus, it’s less likely to occur. However, if and when it does, it can potentially harm many people leading to a horrific accident.  

5. Low-Filled Tanks 

A majority of truckers transport liquids like gas or oil. The truck’s containers are designed to hold a specific amount of liquid. If the container holds less, it can lead the liquids to splash, which could, in some cases, cause the container to sway back and forth. If it continues to sway, the liquids could cause the truck to lose control and crash into one or multiple vehicles. 

6. Brakes 

A recent study found that in 20% of truck accidents, the brakes were determined to have failed. This can result from improper maintenance, bad inspections, and moisture or overheating. The federal government requires all truck companies to do regular inspections to ensure the brakes of each truck are in good working condition.  

However, components are sometimes overlooked, which could lead the brakes to fail later. If brakes do indeed fail, more than one party could be liable. For example, the maintenance company can be sued for poor inspection, and the truck company can be sued for not noticing the faulty brakes and not having them repaired.  

7. Tires  

Another common issue is a truck’s tires. With so much dependent on them, they need to be in perfect condition. However, sometimes they can be faulty, whether it is due to a bad inspection or improper design, tire blowouts can and do happen.  

However, because it’s a semi rather than a passager vehicle, tire blowouts make the truck slow down and lean either to the right or left. As a result, it can cause the truck to lose control, leading the truck to tip or crash into several vehicles.  

Just like with brakes, more than one party may be liable. The maintenance company can be sued for not attending to the truck’s tires, and the truck company can be sued for allowing the truck to be on the road.  

What To Do If A Semi Injures You? 

You’ll first want to contact a medical professional to determine the extent of your injuries. If you don’t, your injuries may be looked down upon as not that serious since you waited to seek medical help.  

From there, contact a vehicle accident attorney. He or she will put together a case that includes your property damage, medical injuries, expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress. All this evidence will prove that the truck driver engaged in reckless driving and increase your chance at a settlement. 

The amount you’ll receive is directly impacted by the amount of evidence and its weight on the case. With that said, you can receive a settlement of up to or more than 50,000, depending on your injuries. 

File a Claim With a Personal Injury Lawyer Today  

Truck accidents cause pain and hardship to everyone involved. Accidents are tragic, whether it be the trucker’s fault or a passenger’s vehicle. If you’ve been injured due to a truck accident in Houston, Texas, our law firm, Ohara Attorneys, would love to help you seek compensation. 

We’ve helped hundreds of individuals get justice with personal injury claims, from dog bite cases to semi-truck accidents; we can do it all. To set up a consultation, contact us today.