What causes truck accidents?

Those of us who live in the Joplin area are familiar with the web of highways and interstates that crisscross and surround the city. We depend on the large commercial trucks that make their way in and out of Joplin to carry our products off to others and to bring in needed merchandise and supplies.

Unfortunately, a part of the nation’s growing dependence on trucking is an ever-increasing danger to motorists who share the roads with the large vehicles. Far too often we see truck accidents causing serious injuries – and in some cases, causing needless fatalities.

The crashes leave victims, victim families and others to wonder what causes truck accidents.

A few years ago, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued its Large Truck Crash Causation Study. The research helps us understand what contributing factors are most often involved when trucks slam into other vehicles.

According to the FMCSA, leading truck driver errors are non-performance, recognition, decision and performance. Let’s delve a bit deeper into those somewhat vague terms.

  • Non-performance can mean there was driver fatigue involved (including drivers who fall asleep) or that the trucker for some reason became physically impaired (heart attack, for instance).
  • Recognition involves drivers who failed to recognize a situation because they were distracted by something inside their vehicle (cellphone, GPS, etc.) or something outside it (a car accident, for example).
  • Decision involves speeding truckers and those who did not accurate gauge the speed of other vehicles, as well as those who drove too closely behind another vehicle.
  • Performance describes those truckers who froze when an incident occurred ahead of them, or they overcompensated or failed to maneuver their vehicle safely around an incident.

Those injured by careless, distracted or fatigued truck drivers have legal recourse and should speak with an attorney experienced in pursuing full and fair compensation for all damages.

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