In a collision between a large, commercial truck and a passenger vehicle, it is the occupants of the passenger vehicle that sustain the most injuries and are more likely to perish. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that about 5,000 occupants of passenger vehicles die in traffic crashes with large, commercial trucks each year in the United States compared to about 700 people who were occupants of 18-wheeler, semi-trucks. While the NHTSA is the federal agency in charge of road safety for all vehicles, their focus is on passenger vehicle safety while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) governs road safety issues pertaining to large trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles.
Causes of truck accidents
In keeping with their mission to promote safety for commercial vehicles, the FMCSA commissioned a study in 2007, which gets updated each year, to analyze the factors that lead to accidents in trucks with 10,000lb. or more gross vehicle weight, because they are disproportionately responsible for causing injuries and fatalities on our nation’s roadways. There are countless factors that can cause a traffic accident. The FMCSA, Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS), identified the critical events that precipitated those crashes.
In any collision, there is a chain of events but there is almost always a single factor that sets off that chain of events, whether that factor is an icy roadway, failed brakes or a driver focusing on a hand-held device when he or she should be focused on driving. That single factor which leads to the crash is called the critical event.
Three major critical events that lead to truck crashes
The three major types of critical events identified in the study included:
- Running out of the travel lane into another lane or off the road
- Loss of control of the vehicle
- Colliding with the rear-end of another vehicle in the truck’s travel lane
Associated factors in truck crashes
Of the hundreds of associated factors in truck crashes analyzed in the study, the top ten were identified as:
- Brake problems
- Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
- Prescription drug use
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Unfamiliarity with roadway
- Roadway problems
- Required to stop before crash (traffic control device, crosswalk)
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Inadequate surveillance
All the details and the annually updated data for the LTCCS can be found on the FMCSA website.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a large commercial truck driver, you might consider scheduling a consultation with an experienced, Nashville truck accident attorney from the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm. Having experience working with truck accident victims is important because taking legal action against a commercial trucking company, truck manufacturer or maintenance company can be complicated. We know federal trucking regulations and we know how to establish fault and hold the responsible parties liable for their negligence, and we are adept at winning compensation for our clients who have been injured due to no fault of their own. Give us a call. We will fight for you.
Few truck crashes are truly unavoidable accidents, rather they occur for the most part because of human error. When the negligent actions of another driver are the cause of your TBI or other serious injury, a skilled Nashville truck accident attorney from the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm is prepared to fight on your behalf for the compensation you deserve. You may call 615.246.5549 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation with a truck accident attorney in Nashville, Gallatin or Knoxville to discuss your case and get the answers you need to move forward.