What are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents?

Truck accident on Illinois highway during the evening The Chicago truck accident attorneys at Sklare Law Group appreciate the key role that big rigs and the trucking industry play in moving goods and supporting a robust economy.

But it is exactly because shipping trucks and truck drivers are busy and in high demand that we also must fight vigilantly for victims’ rights in the aftermath of a truck accident.

We take on these cases because our accident attorneys have a thorough understanding of why most truck accidents happen, as well as the most effective strategies to pursue the best possible results for our clients.

Pair the demand for trucking services with the number of miles these big rigs travel on a daily basis, and truck accidents become a significant risk for Chicago-area drivers.

Consider that each year the country’s truck drivers travel roughly 93,512,000,000 miles, according to research conducted by Business Insider, and that there are more than 1.2 million American trucking companies, according to the United Truck Driving School.

Here are just four common reasons that shipping trucks, which include semis and tractor-trailers, are involved in traffic accidents:

  1. Exhausted truck drivers. Truck driver shifts last for days, and many times, these drivers are under the gun to deliver their goods within a tight timeframe. The problem is, when drivers fail to get enough rest and recuperation during their interstate trips, they become dangerous. Common sense – not to mention evidence from the Centers from Disease Control (CDC) – tells us that tired drivers pay less attention to the road, are less aware of the other motor vehicles around them, and lose their ability to make good decisions. In 2013 alone, more than 800 people died on America’s roads and highways as a result of accidents caused by drowsy drivers, according to the CDC.
  2. Driving distractions. We’re all familiar with the infamous pop culture truck driver who spends his nights engaged in ‘breaker-breaker, Good Buddy’ CB banter with his colleagues. But today’s rigs also include computers, mobile phones and tablets, entertainment systems and other modern communications conveniences. This means there are more reasons that truck drivers may unintentionally take their eyes off the road. The trucking industry recognizes that distracted driving is now a serious safety issue, which is why regulations exist that prohibit truck drivers from texting or using a hand-held phone while behind the wheel. But not every truck driver is compliant, which is why you may need an accident attorney to help decipher the facts in the aftermath of a trucking accident.
  3. Poorly maintained trucks. Sure, some truck drivers are drawn to the work because they dream of commanding a shiny big rig. But the reality is that many truck companies keep their big rigs running for as long as they can, meaning many trucks on the road today are older models that may have mechanical problems.
  4. Inexperienced or under-trained drivers. Truck driving training programs and schools generally teach drivers exactly what they need to know to get a truck driving license. But that license is no guarantee that the driver is an alert, astute person in the first place, or that the driver refrains from mind-altering substances while behind the wheel. Truck driving school also is no substitute for the experience that comes from years of negotiating different scenarios on the road, such as making a U-turn or dealing with road work or traffic congestion.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a Chicago-area truck accident, you owe it to yourself to speak with an accident attorney. Please contact the Sklare Law Group today at 312-263-0771 for your free consultation.

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