What are the common causes of 18-wheeler collisions?

18 wheelers

​The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that at any given time, there are at least 15.5 million trucks operating across the country. Because there are so many 18-wheelers on the road, there are entire sections of the Federal Code of Regulations and various state laws, such as those in Mississippi, that govern how 18-wheelers and their drivers must operate. However, despite the many precautions taken to reduce trucking accidents, Americans are injured or killed every year. For example, in 2020, nearly 147,000 people were injured from trucking accidents, and nearly 5,000 were killed. If you do the math, that means that for almost every 100 18-wheelers on the road, at least one person is going to be injured or killed. 

​So what are the common causes of 18-wheeler accidents? One reason is inadequate maintenance. 18-wheelers require constant evaluation and maintenance to keep them operating. This means that drivers must make sure that the trucks have properly working headlights, wipers, and especially brakes. Still, many truckers and the companies that they work for try to cut costs by avoiding routine maintenance, putting other drivers at risk if something goes wrong. 

​Another cause of 18-wheeler accidents is that drivers are pressured to make strict deadlines. For example, some drivers must transport perishable goods, and so must travel quickly to prevent the goods from spoiling. Add to that there are bound to be traffic delays, bad weather, and other incidents that slow down transportation, and you have the perfect recipe for a truck driver that is in a rush to make those deadlines, even if that means speeding, running stop signs, etc.

​Probably the greatest cause of 18-wheeler collisions is inadequate driver training. This is especially true for 18-wheeler wrecks in Mississippi that involve logging trucks and grain transports. While most commercial drivers are required to have a CDL, Mississippi laws do not necessarily require truckers to have a CDL if they are engaged in agriculture or farming operations. Regardless, companies still try to save costs by not training their drivers as thoroughly as they should, which means that often, drivers do not know how to properly handle the truck they are driving, properly secure the truck’s cargo, or otherwise drive adhere to state and federal laws. In other words, many companies just stick someone behind the wheel without making sure that the driver is properly qualified to even operate an 18-wheeler.

​Oftentimes, there is more than one cause that contributes to an 18-wheeler wreck. The important thing to remember is that truck drivers and the companies that they work for are held to a very high standard of care, because of the very nature of what they do. If you or someone you know is injured in an 18-wheeler collision, having an experienced attorney on your side can help determine the level of liability for the truck driver.

At Calderon Law, we concentrate heavily on 18-wheeler collisions and want to make sure that we do everything that we can to ensure driver safety. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to us at 662-545-4445.

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