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Common Truck Accident Causes

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues an annual edition of Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts, which, in part, helps document the most common causes of these types of motor vehicle crashes. The report draws from information collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the General Estimates System (GES), the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS), which the FMCSA maintains, and Highway Statistics, a publication of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The most recent report available is from data gathered in 2014.

The report concludes that at least one driver-related factor was present for 34% of the large truck drivers in fatal crashes in 2014. Speeding of any type was the most common driver-related factor in these crashes, followed by distraction or inattention, and then impairment, whether as a result of fatigue, alcohol, drugs, or illness.

When truck crashes occurred, regardless of the driver-related factor(s) involved, one of three scenarios typically occurred:

  • Running out of the travel lane, either into another lane or off the road altogether
  • Losing vehicle control due to excessive speed, cargo shift, vehicle systems failure, poor road conditions, or other reasons
  • Colliding with the rear end of another vehicle in the truck’s travel lane

The report also identified associated factors that were most commonly cited in large truck crashes are, in descending order, brake problems, traffic flow interruption, prescription drug usage, traveling too fast for the conditions, unfamiliarity with the roadway, roadway problems, being required to stop before a crash, over-the-counter drug usage, inadequate surveillance, and fatigue. Other, less common factors include feeling pressure to perform from the employer, illegal maneuvers, inattention, external distraction, tire problems, following too closely, jackknife, cargo shifts, illness, internal distraction, illegal drugs, and alcohol consumption.

Regardless of the issues that led to the truck or other motor vehicle crash that harmed you or your family member, you may very well have a personal injury claim under Wisconsin law. Call Boller & Vaughan today at (608) 268-0268, or contact us online in order to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Wisconsin truck accident attorneys. Don’t give up on your losses without a fight for what you deserve from those responsible for your injuries.