11 Common Causes of Virginia Truck Accidents
A truck accident can occur for a multitude of reasons. Causes of truck collisions in Virginia vary from driver error and vehicle failure to road and weather conditions. In some crashes, there is a combination of factors that contribute to the collision.
Our auto accident attorneys in Virginia Beach at Breit Law PC investigate all types of crashes to determine the at-fault party and help recover damages. In truck collisions, the injured party can pursue a personal injury claim against the truck driver, trucking company, vehicle manufacturer, government entity, or third parties.
The majority of truck accidents in Virginia are associated with driver errors, including but not limited to:
- Improper or illegal lane changes. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) found that improperly changing lanes was the primary cause in nearly a third of all truck crashes (32%). It was also the most common cause of truck crashes in Virginia (almost 12% of accidents involving large trucks).
- Failure to maintain a safe distance (tailgating). Following too closely is the second most common cause of truck collisions in Virginia, accounting for almost 10% of the crashes.
- Speeding or going too fast for conditions. Speeding is a common cause not only in regular auto accidents but also in crashes involving large trucks. When an 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, or another truck is traveling too fast for conditions (reduced visibility, poor road conditions, adverse weather, traffic jams, etc.), a crash is likely to occur.
- Distracted driving. A staggering over 71% of fatal large truck accidents occur due to distracted driving.
- Drowsy or fatigued driving. Since truck drivers are more likely to be driving for long periods of time, being under stress, and facing pressure from their employer to deliver cargo on time, a large percentage of truck collisions involve tired and fatigued drivers.
- Impaired driving. While drunk driving and the use of illegal drugs remains rare among truck drivers, the LTCCS found that the use of over-the-counter medications contributes to about 17% of truck accidents.
Vehicle Defects and Other Factors
Many truck crashes occur through no fault of the truck driver. Vehicle defects cause a significant percentage of truck crashes.
- Brake failure. Defective or malfunctioning brakes can lead to rear-end collisions. Brake failure can make it difficult for a driver to stop in time to avoid an accident, which can be fatal when the driver is approaching an intersection.
- Tire failure. By their nature, trucks are difficult to maneuver. However, when one or more tires on a truck are deflated or flattened, the trucker is even more likely to crash into other vehicles.
- Cargo shift. When cargo is not secured correctly, its shifting and sudden movement can alter the vehicle’s center of gravity, causing the trucker to lose control or even causing the truck to roll over or jackknife.
Certain other factors also increase the risk of Virginia truck accidents:
- Weather conditions. Adverse weather conditions, including rain and snow, are common contributing factors in collisions involving large trucks.
- Road conditions. Potholes, uneven roads, road debris, and other poor road conditions further increase the risk of truck crashes, especially in combination with weather conditions or other factors.
A Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer can help recover damages through effective negotiations and successful litigation. Typically, the cost of medical treatment and rehabilitation following a truck crash can be devastating, not to mention that you may also incur the loss of income, diminished earning capacity, and other losses. Contact our attorneys at Breit Law PC to investigate your case, evaluate damages, and help you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries. Call at 757-456-0333 to talk about your case.