Why Commercial Trucks Crash by Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer Rand Spear

tractor trailer truck rolled over after auto accident
April 25, 2017
Legally Reviewed By Attorney Rand Spear, Esq.

Commercial truck accidents can result in injuries and deaths and are mostly caused by truck driver mistakes says Philadelphia truck accident lawyer Rand Spear.

Commercial vehicle accidents result in a tremendous cost to victims, society as a whole as well as to trucking and insurance companies. Because of the substantial costs studies of these accidents and their causes are being done to discover ways to prevent them in the future and avoid deaths, injuries and financial losses. Philadelphia truck accident lawyer Rand Spear says most commercial truck accidents are due to mistakes by their drivers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) to discover the reasons for serious crashes involving large trucks. They looked at about 120,000 large truck accidents involving 141,000 trucks which occurred between April 2001 and December 2003.

Crashes involving at least one large truck which resulted in a fatality or injury included,

  • 963 crashes involving 1,123 large trucks and 959 other motor vehicles.
  • They resulted in 249 fatalities and 1,654 injuries.
  • 73% of them involved a large truck hitting at least one other vehicle.

Half of the LTCCS crashes were collisions of a large truck and a passenger vehicle. Researchers found a statistically significant connection between these ten factors (listed in descending order) and the critical event (the action or event that made the collision unavoidable),

  • Traffic flow interruptions,
  • Driver unfamiliarity with the roadway,
  • Inadequate surveillance,
  • Driving too fast for conditions,
  • Illegal driving maneuver,
  • Inattention,
  • Fatigue,
  • Illness,
  • False assumptions of what other drivers would do, and
  • Distractions by objects or another person inside the vehicle.

When looking at all large truck accidents the LTCCS found that there were three kinds of critical events,

  • Driving out of the travel lane, either into another lane or off the road (32% of the accidents),
  • Loss of control because the truck was traveling too fast for conditions, cargo shifted, a vehicle system failure, poor road conditions or some other reason (29%), and
  • Rear ending another vehicle (22%).

The study also looked at critical reasons (the immediate reason/failure leading to the critical event) for heavy truck accidents. Researchers were able to come up with critical reasons in 55% of the accidents in the study. The most common were,

Critical Reasons and Number of Trucks Percent of Total

  • Driver Errors – 68,000 87%
    • Decision – 30,000 38%
    • Recognition – 22,000 28%
    • Non-Performance – 9,000 12%
    • Performance – 7,000 9%
  • Vehicle Problems – 8,000 10%
  • Driving Environment – 2,000 3%

The terms the FTCCS uses mean,

  • Decision: The driver chooses to drive too fast for conditions, misjudges the speed of other vehicles or follows too closely.
  • Recognition: The driver was inattentive, distracted or failed to observe the situation adequately for some reason.
  • Non-Performance: The driver was asleep, disabled by a heart attack or seizure or physically impaired for some reason.
  • Performance: The driver panicked, overcompensated or didn’t control the truck correctly.

When a commercial truck accident results in injuries or deaths of those in other vehicles, pedestrians, motorcyclists or bicyclists, if a truck driver’s mistakes cause the accident, or there is some kind of equipment failure or shift in cargo leading to the truck going out of control, those harmed in the accident may have legal claims for compensation against any number of possible defendants.

Have you or a family member been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck? Don’t wait to speak to a personal injury lawyer about your case. Protect your rights by calling New Jersey and Philadelphia truck accident lawyer Rand Spear today at 877-GET-RAND.