With miles and miles of highways, Southern California drivers often share the road with Semi-Trucks. In sharing the roads, accidents happen, and unfortunately people are injured or lose their lives. In 2012, 3,921 people were killed due to car accidents involving large trucks (semi-trucks). Another 104,000 people were injured and 333,000 large trucks were involved in accidents.
With this many deaths and injuries, it is useful for drivers to understand what happens in the moments leading up to these accidents? What led to the collision? Why do these accidents happen?
These questions lead to the major question: What causes accidents with Semi-Trucks?
What Causes Semi-Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a study analyzing crashes involving large trucks. The study attempted to analyze what causes these types of accidents. In analyzing, researchers broke down the causation into three different research categories: (1) critical event, (2) critical reason and (3) associated factors.
1. Critical Event
The critical event is incident or event that directly resulted in a collision. The study described this event as making the crash inevitable and unavoidable. The top three critical events causing accidents involving large trucks were:
- Running out of lane either into another lane or onto shoulder
- Loss of control due to speed, cargo shift, system failure or road conditions
- Rear-ending another vehicle in the same lane
2. Critical Reason
The critical reason is the underlying reason the critical event happened. This refers to what caused the semi-truck to either leave their lane, to rear-end another vehicle or to get into an accident. The top four critical reasons causing accidents involving large trucks were:
- Driver Decision (driving too fast, misjudging speed of other vehicles, follow too closely)
- Driver Recognition (inattentive, distracted, failing to observe situation for other reasons)
- Driver Non-Performance (asleep, physically impaired – heart attack or seizure)
- Driver Performance (panic, stress, overcompensating)
3. Associated Factors
The final category was other factors which contributed to the large truck accident. These factors commonly contribute with other causes. The top four associated factors were:
- Brake Problems
- Prescription Drug Use
- Travelling Too Fast for Conditions
If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident involving a Large Truck or Semi-Truck, please contact the experienced San Diego personal injury attorneys at Martinez & Schill LLP. These accidents can involve significant injuries and our personal injury attorneys are experienced in determining causation in a particular semi-truck accident and may be able to offer insight into potentially culpable parties. We don’t get paid until we recover compensation on your behalf, so call today for a free consultation. San Diego 619-512-5995 or Riverside 951-200-4630.