If you are involved in an accident with a large truck, the most important step you can take is to contact the authorities about the accident and ensure you, and anyone else involved in the accident, receive the necessary medical treatment.
If you can, take pictures of the accident scene and any damage that occurred. Collect witness information and make sure you avoid making a statement that may put fault on your shoulders.
It’s recommended that you seek the advice and guidance of a Connecticut truck accident lawyer, as well. This legal professional can review the facts of your case and help protect your rights to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.
While talking to a lawyer and taking the proper steps after an accident is essential, getting to know the most common causes of these accidents may help you prevent them from happening. Keep reading to learn about the most common reasons for Connecticut truck accidents.
1. Driver Fatigue
Driver fatigue is considered a leading cause of truck accident fatalities. This is typically the result of truck drivers being on the road for long hours without a break or rest. Many truck drivers have unhealthy sleep schedules and don’t get adequate sleep to operate their vehicles properly. Because of this, they may fall asleep behind the wheel or experience slowed reaction times due to their fatigued state.
These types of accidents typically happen between 12 PM and 3 AM, when most people are sleeping. To help eliminate fatigue-related truck accidents, the Hours-of-Service Regulation was established by the government. While this sets the amount of time a commercial truck driver can operate their vehicle without rest, some drivers and companies don’t follow the recommendations. Because of this, fatigue-related accidents are still a serious problem throughout Connecticut.
2. Drug or Alcohol Use
This includes the use of alcohol, illegal and legal drugs. According to information from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drug and alcohol use is one of the top causes of trucking accidents. Recently, the numbers had even surpassed accidents related to driver fatigue.
Drugs and alcohol were responsible for around 25% of all truck accidents that occurred in the past few years. This includes over-the-counter medications that impact a driver’s reaction time and result in an accident.
When a truck driver speeds and causes an accident, the consequences are often catastrophic. Trucks driving at normal speeds within the set speed limit are extremely dangerous. When a truck has even more velocity when colliding with a passenger vehicle, the likelihood of a fatality increases significantly.
Large trucks cannot stop quickly. When this inability to stop quickly is combined with high rates of speed, the property damage, and injuries that occur are often significant.
4. Driver Errors
When drivers attend truck driving school to get their commercial license, they often learn to check blind spots, especially before making a turn. However, it is estimated that failing to do this simple safety check contributes to around 15% of all truck accidents.
Statistics have also shown that truck accidents also occur when a driver does not use their turn signal to show other drivers changing lanes, illegal driving maneuvers, or engaging in distracted driving. Even if a truck driver’s methods are perfect, they still must remain alert and aware of the vehicles around them.
5. Improper or Poor Maintenance
If a large truck is not maintained properly, which includes worn-out tires, old brakes, improperly attached trailers, or an engine that doesn’t run properly, the truck presents a serious safety hazard to themselves and others on the road. With more companies putting the cost of maintenance as the responsibility of the drivers, some avoid making repairs and engage in basic maintenance until they absolutely have to. This can lead to serious and devastating accidents.
6. Lack of Experience
Some drivers who have just received their license, or those who don’t have proper training, are likely eager to start driving. Most trucking companies are eager to put them on the road because they accept lower pay. However, this also results in more accidents since new truck drivers don’t have the experience required to stay safe and avoid accidents in many situations.
7. Improper Loading
Even if someone is a great driver, there is still a chance that the cargo present in their trailer was not loaded properly. It doesn’t matter who loads the trainer, improperly loaded trailers can increase the possibility of a truck jack-knifing.
Contact a Connecticut Truck Accident Lawyer for Help
If you are involved in a truck accident, it’s best to contact our Connecticut New Haven truck accident attorneys for assistance. The truck accident legal team at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers understand the complexity of Connecticut truck accident cases and can help you get the compensation you deserve after the accident.