Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents


Accidents involving semi-trucks result in thousands of deaths each year. People in passenger cars are often victims of semi-truck accidents. They are not equipped to handle collisions with vehicles twice their weight or strength.

Track Accident Statistics

An analysis of truck accidents shows that about 5,000 people die each year in semi-truck accidents. These crashes also result in the deaths of approximately 700 semi-truck drivers each year. A semi-truck pulling one trailer is responsible for 64 percent of semi-truck deaths. 32 percent of these crashes involve single-unit trucks. About 4 percent of all crashes involve multi-trailer trucks.

Causes of accidents

Accidents like these can happen for many reasons. Accidents can cause serious injuries or even fatalities due to the heavy vehicle, its difference in weight and speed. Semi-truck accidents are most often caused by:

Driver Fatigue

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has warned about the dangers of truck driver fatigue. Truck drivers can drive hundreds of miles in a matter of days. Truck drivers often drive thousands of miles in a matter of days. Because they are paid on the basis of mileage, there is an incentive to drive farther and for longer periods of time, as the driver will make more money this way. Federal regulations limit how many hours a driver can drive in a given day and dictate when and how long breaks must be taken. Driver fatigue is still a major cause of semi-truck accidents.

Improper Maintenance

Federal regulations require semi-trucks must be maintained if they are being operated. Incorrectly maintaining vehicle components and parts can cause serious accidents. This includes tires that are too worn or a malfunctioning engine, unsafe trailers, and the braking system. Truck companies that comply with federal regulations receive regular maintenance, including brake checks prior to each trip.

Distracted driving

Distracted driving remains a major concern for everyone on the road. Distracted driving has a lower chance of causing injury than semi-truck drivers. Distracted drivers are people who operate a vehicle while their eyes, hands, or concentration are not on the vehicle and driving. Distracted driving is most commonly caused by using a mobile phone. However, distractions can also be caused by a response to other stimuli. Distracted driving can be caused by a variety of activities, including texting, eating, drinking and typing in addresses in a GPS system.

Truck drivers are more susceptible to distractions because of the long work hours and tedious nature of driving. Truck drivers might try to distract themselves by using their phones. Truck drivers are forbidden from using their cell phones while driving.

Driver inexperience

Inexperienced or inept training is another reason semi-truck accidents are common. Trucking companies often pay new drivers to take trucking classes and quickly place them behind the wheel large, dangerous vehicles. These drivers might not be familiar with the vehicle they will be driving. Trucking companies find inexperienced drivers more appealing than experienced drivers because they charge less per mile. Inexperienced truck drivers can inadvertently injure others, which is one of the costs that comes with the job.

Improper Loading

Incorrectly loading cargo on a truck can sometimes lead to an accident. To speed up the driver’s journey, individuals may load the truck quickly. Untrained packers might not know how to distribute the weight properly. These errors can result in semi-trucks being difficult to maneuver or jack-knifing.

Legal assistance

A personal injury lawyer with experience in semi-truck accidents may be able to help individuals who have been injured in an accident. Truck accident lawyers should be familiarized with federal and state regulations to help them make legal claims. He or she can assist parties in obtaining compensation for any damages they have suffered.


Updated 01/18/22