7 Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Published: February 29, 2024
Last updated: March 4, 2024

Have you ever thought about what causes truck accidents? These large vehicles are vital to our economy, transporting goods across long distances. However, when accidents occur, they can be devastating due to their massive size and weight. Understanding the common causes of truck accidents is crucial for prevention. This blog will delve into seven reasons these accidents happen and discuss ways to avoid them. Additionally, we'll cover who can assist in the event of an accident, ensuring you're prepared for any situation.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents on the road. For truck drivers, the long hours behind the wheel can make it tempting to find something to break the monotony. Activities like texting, eating, or even adjusting the GPS can divert attention from the road. A moment's distraction can have severe consequences, given the size and momentum of a truck.

How to prevent it: The best strategy is for drivers to commit to focused driving. Keeping phones out of reach and taking breaks for meals can help maintain attention on the road.


Speeding is dangerous for any vehicle, but the risks are magnified for trucks. Due to their heavy loads, trucks require a greater distance to come to a complete stop. Speeding reduces the driver's reaction time and increases the severity of any impact.

How to prevent it: Adhering to speed limits and road conditions is essential. Drivers should be trained to understand the dynamics of their vehicles, especially when fully loaded.

Driver Fatigue

Fatigue is a significant risk for truck drivers, who often face long, monotonous hours on the road. Tiredness impairs judgment and slows reaction times, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

How to prevent it: Regular rest breaks and strict adherence to driving hour regulations can mitigate fatigue. Employers should also encourage a culture that prioritizes safety over tight schedules.

Poor Vehicle Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for the safety of any vehicle, especially trucks. Neglecting maintenance can lead to critical failures, such as brake failure or tire blowouts, which can cause accidents.

How to prevent it: Routine checks and maintenance should be a priority. Companies should ensure that all vehicles are inspected regularly and in good working condition.

Bad Weather

Adverse weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and fog, significantly increase the risk of accidents. Slippery roads and reduced visibility are challenging for all drivers, particularly those maneuvering large trucks.

How to prevent it: Drivers should be trained to handle their vehicles in various weather conditions. Sometimes, the safest decision is to pull over and wait for conditions to improve.

Improper Loading

Improperly loaded or secured cargo can cause trucks to become unbalanced, leading to rollovers or loss of control. The distribution of weight is critical for the safe operation of the vehicle.

How to prevent it: Proper loading techniques should be followed, ensuring the weight is evenly distributed and securely fastened.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is both illegal and dangerous. For truck drivers, the implications are even more severe, given the potential for catastrophic accidents.

How to prevent it: Zero tolerance policies for drug and alcohol use should be enforced. Regular testing can deter substance abuse and keep the roads safer for everyone.

Who Should You Call Straight After a Truck Accident?

If you are involved in a truck accident, seeking legal assistance is crucial. A lawyer for a truck accident specializes in navigating the complexities of such cases. They can help in:

· Investigating the Accident: Lawyers can conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the truck accident. This includes gathering evidence such as accident reports, witness statements, and camera footage.

· Identifying Liable Parties: They can identify all parties potentially liable for the accident, including the truck driver, trucking company, vehicle manufacturers, or other drivers involved.

· Dealing with Insurance Companies: Lawyers can negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive a fair settlement covering your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

· Providing Legal Advice: They can offer expert legal advice on the best course of action, whether negotiating a settlement or taking the case to court.

· Filing a Lawsuit: A lawyer can file a lawsuit to pursue compensation beyond what insurance offers. They will represent you throughout the legal process.

In summary, while truck accidents can happen for various reasons, many are preventable with the right precautions. Drivers and trucking companies must work together to prioritize safety. In cases where accidents occur, knowing who to turn to for help can make a significant difference in the aftermath.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief Carmelo Pickel is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Keep Driving, with almost 20 years of experience working in the industry. Before founding Keep Driving, Carmelo held leadership roles for over a decade on top automotive dealership corporations across North America, handling various leadership roles in Sales, Marketing, and Incentives.
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