There was a recent semi-truck accident that occurred in Seattle. A 14-year-old high school student was badly injured when a commercial truck struck him as he was riding his bicycle. Both driver and bicyclist were traveling westbound on 175th St. in Shoreline, when the driver made a right-hand turn and collided with the student, dragging him 30-40 feet.

Why do accidents like these occur?

It’s too early to say who’s at fault, but a reasonable person would surmise that the driver of the truck should have had his vehicle under control at all times.

Commercial truck driving on rainy road

Starting Statistics Behind Trucking Accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), performed a study that looked at data from three years of truck accidents and tried to determine the reason(s) why they occurred. The total sample included 1,123 crashes involving large trucks. 77% of those were pulling a single semi-trailer.

Here are the top factors that can cause large commercial trucking accidents:

Driver Error: Most commercial trucking accidents are caused by driver error. The FMCSA study determined that some of the most common causes of driver error age:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or prescription medication
  • Driving too fast
  • Driver inattentiveness (e.g. cell phone distraction, not paying attention)
  • Falling asleep
  • Following too closely to other vehicles
  • Driving recklessly in order to meet impossible delivery schedules set up by the company they work for

Truck/Brake/Tire Defects: The next most common reason for large, commercial truck accidents are defective truck parts. For example, the trucking company could have postponed changing the brake pads on the truck in order to squeeze out a few more miles (and financial savings). Worn tire tread does not meet minimum tread depth as required by law. Mismatched tire sizes, each with different amounts of wear can also cause safety issues on the highway.

Load Errors: The load that the truck is carrying can also significantly contribute to an accident. Trucks are only allowed to have a certain amount of weight when traveling on public streets. If the truck is over-loaded, there’s a chance it won’t safely stop in the event of an emergency.

Truck drivers are responsible for making sure their load is safely secured and in compliance with the law before they head out on the open road. If the company requires drivers to meet impossible schedules, this “rush factor” can significantly increase the chance of an accident.

Contact a Large Commercial Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been a victim of a commercial trucking accident, trust the experienced and dedicated attorneys at Herrmann Law Group. We can help you on your quest to seek the justice and financial compensation that you deserve in your commercial truck accident.

If you have any questions that weren’t answered in this blog post, feel free to reach out to us via phone or send us an email. One of our attorneys will be able to answer any questions you may have.