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Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Orange County

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Large commercial trucks are a valuable part of our society. These vehicles deliver an incredible amount of goods all over the country and here in Orange County. However, due to their size and weight, large commercial trucks can cause serious injuries in collisions with traditional passenger vehicles. It is important to understand the most common causes of truck accidents in order to be able to avoid them.

Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents

There are innumerable causes of truck accidents on our roadways. However, the following causes tend to be more common:

Truck Mechanical Failure

In many cases, a truck accident is caused by faulty equipment or mechanical failure of the vehicle. It is up to truck owners and operators to regularly inspect and maintain each vehicle. Failing to do so could result in a failure of part of the truck at high speeds. A tire blowout could cause a truck to veer across the road and into other drivers. Improperly tied down cargo could fly off the truck and slam into other vehicles. Bad brakes could lead to a truck slamming into vehicles on the roadway.

Driver Fatigue

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) places restrictions on how many hours a truck driver can operate each workday and workweek. Truck drivers are required to take breaks between driving shifts and rest a certain number of hours every day. However, there are times when drivers feel compelled to operate beyond their capacity, which can lead to them falling asleep at the wheel and causing a serious accident.

Distracted Driving

Truck drivers regularly multitask behind the wheel of their vehicle. This can include talking or texting on their phones, adjusting the GPS system, using a CB radio, eating and drinking, and more. Anything that takes a driver’s focus off of the roadway could lead to them causing a serious accident.

Lack of Skill/Unqualified Drivers

Driving a large commercial truck is far more complex than driving a traditional passenger vehicle. All drivers should have their commercial driver’s license and be trained to drive each vehicle that a company asks them to operate. Unfortunately, many truck drivers are under-trained and unqualified. An experienced driver behind the wheel of an 80,000 vehicle is a major problem and can cause serious accidents on the roadway.

Blind Spot Driving

When passenger vehicles operate in a truck’s blind spots, accidents are much more likely to occur. There are several blind spots around large commercial trucks, including:

  • Directly in front of the cab
  • On either side of the truck
  • Directly behind the truck

There is an old saying that “If you cannot see the truck driver in their mirror, then the truck driver cannot see you.” All passenger vehicle drivers should be aware of a truck’s blind spots and take steps to avoid them.

How Often Do Truck Accidents Occur?

According to the FMCSA, there were approximately 148,000 injuries and more than 4,700 fatalities due to large truck accidents during the latest reporting year in the U.S. These incidents can lead to severe injuries, and it is not uncommon for a victim to sustain the following:

  • Significant disfigurement
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Loss of or damage to a bodily organ
  • Dismemberment or amputation
  • Severe lacerations

Victims should secure help from an Orange County truck accident lawyer who can help them assess their case and secure the compensation they are entitled to.

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