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Common causes of tractor-trailer crashes

Tractor-trailer crashes are serious events that can lead to catastrophic injuries for victims. Partially due to this risk, truckers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely, but the onus isn’t solely on them.

Trucking companies, component manufacturers, cargo loaders and maintenance technicians can all play a role in ensuring semitrucks remain safe on the roads. Anyone who has been involved in an 18-wheeler crash should consider all the potential causes of what has happened to more effectively determine how to proceed with their case.

Trucker error

Trucker error encompasses many actions, including speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and fatigue. Tractor-trailer drivers face long hours on the road, which can lead to decreased alertness and slower reaction times. The pressure to meet tight delivery schedules may push some drivers to take risks, such as speeding or forgoing required rest periods, that increase the likelihood of crashes.

Improperly secured cargo

Another critical factor contributing to tractor-trailer accidents is improperly secured cargo. The contents of these large vehicles can weigh thousands of pounds. Shifts in cargo can lead to loss of control, especially at high speeds or in difficult driving conditions. Improperly secured cargo can also fall off the trailer, creating hazardous obstacles for other vehicles on the road.

Lax maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for the safe operation of any vehicle, and this is especially true for tractor-trailers due to their size and the complexity of their systems. Lax maintenance can lead to failures in critical components, such as brakes or tires, which can cause catastrophic accidents.

Defective components

Defective components are a significant hazard in the operation of tractor-trailers. These defects can stem from manufacturing errors or design flaws and may affect vital systems such as steering, braking or lighting. Even with diligent maintenance, a defective component can fail unexpectedly, leading to loss of control or the inability to stop the vehicle in time to prevent a crash.

Semitruck crashes can lead to catastrophic injuries for victims. In some cases, they may cause fatalities. Victims or their surviving loved ones – depending on the severity of a particular crash – may opt to seek compensation for the financial damages related to a wreck. Seeking assistance from a legal representative can help them to learn their options and to get their cases established and moving forward.