We’ve all driven past - or been passed by - a large commercial truck. Similarly, many of us have thought, “Don't hit me,” as tractor-trailers speed alongside us or approach from behind. Many times, as our South Carolina truck accident attorney explains, it is beyond a person's control whether a massive truck hits their car and causes devastating harm. There are countless stories of 18-wheelers crashing into the back of stopped cars, changing lanes and crushing a passenger vehicle, or overturning due to driver error. Why are semi-trucks so often involved in catastrophic car accidents? Continue reading to learn about the most common causes of truck accidents and what you can do if you were injured in one of these accidents.
10 Common Causes of 18 Wheeler Wrecks on the Interstate
Negligent truck drivers are a constant threat on South Carolina's highways. It is important to know why trucking collisions are happening, in part to prove a legal case, and also so that steps can be taken to reduce the danger to other drivers. The most common causes of 18 wheeler accidents on U.S. interstates, including those in South Carolina, are as follows:
- Distracted driving (e.g. using the phone, looking at documents, eating in the vehicle)
- Driver fatigue (e.g. a company incentivizes drivers to exceed the hourly driving limits)
- Lack of driver training
- Unsecured trucking cargo
- Improper maintenance
- Improper trailer connection
- Overloaded cargo
- Drug/alcohol abuse
- Failure to maintain a proper distance
While distraction and fatigue top the list, there is a growing pattern of truck drivers operating their vehicles under the influence of drugs, especially methamphetamine.
What You Can Do If You've Been Injured in a Semi-Truck Accident
Whether you’re in Spartanburg, Columbia, Charleston, or elsewhere, you have a right to be safe on South Carolina's interstates. If someone violates that right, the law demands that they pay for the harm they've caused.
From rising medical bills to lost earnings to sleepless nights brought on by pain, innocent people hurt by 18-wheelers often face a steep road to recovery. From a legal standpoint, the first step on that road is proving the tractor-trailer operator is at-fault for the accident. The next step is identifying the underlying reasons or root causes, which almost always lead back to negligence on the part of the actual trucking company. Whether it be improper maintenance, inadequate training, or a failure to monitor drug use, a company's lack of safety standards is often why a driver is permitted to operate the vehicle in a dangerous manner.