The 10 Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Semi-truck accidents have the potential for catastrophic outcomes, often resulting in grave injuries or even loss of life. These trucks’ sheer size and weight make accidents significantly more prone to causing extensive damage and severe injuries. The fatality rate due to truck accidents is increasing continuously, with approximately 5,000 American lives lost yearly. Have you ever wondered what factors contribute to most truck accidents on our roads? So, in this blog, we’ll delve into the 10 common causes of truck accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Also, we’ll explore different types of truck accidents and what to do to overcome these situations. So, let’s delve into these underlying causes of truck accidents to keep your roads and lives safe!

10 Common Truck Accident Causes ( Driver-related and Non-Related)

The primary triggers of truck accidents are often associated with drivers, whether they are operating the truck itself or another vehicle on the road. The following are some common causes of truck accidents attributed to truck drivers.

Driver Fatigue

Truck drivers frequently struggle with the pressure to endure extended work hours. Despite legal mandates suggesting mandatory rest periods for truck drivers, some disregard these regulations. It’s challenging to imagine a more dangerous scenario than sharing the road with a truck driver who dozes off while driving.

Driving Under the Influence of Intoxications

Commercial driver’s licenses given to truck drivers have substantially stricter standards regarding intoxication than non-commercial drivers. To prevent the common truck accident, the federal government enforces strict regulations on alcohol consumption among commercial drivers. According to rules and regulations, truck drivers mustn’t consume alcohol before 4 hours of driving. Also, truck drivers’ blood-alcohol concentration must be 0.04%. Exploiting such infractions can substantiate a personal injury claim against the driver.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving encompasses an array of negligent behaviors, including speeding, disregarding traffic signals, hazardous overtaking on two-lane roads, tailgating, and more.

Distracted Driving

Truck drivers are also susceptible to the allure of distracted driving practices like texting and conversing on cell phones. While the usage of CB radios has waned in recent years, many trucks still incorporate them. Even listening to music to alleviate the tedium of long journeys can constitute distracted driving and lead to a severe work truck accident.

Inadequate Vehicle Upkeep

Negligent vehicle maintenance contributes significantly to semi-truck accidents. Worn-out tires, for instance, can lead to blowouts with catastrophic outcomes. The responsibility rests on the driver or whoever was tasked with maintaining the truck, typically the driver, though exceptions exist.

Poor Cargo Loading

A truck’s cargo may leak onto the road at high speeds or even topple over due to improper loading. Sometimes, the driver isn’t in charge of loading the goods; it can also be the trucking organization’s or another party’s obligation. However, the driver must conduct a good inspection of the cargo. However, not every factor that leads to a truck accident is the truck driver’s responsibility. Here are several other common causes of truck accidents.

Road Conditions

Lackluster road maintenance can lead to dangerous truck accidents. Specifically, road construction zones can be breeding grounds for accidents, as can confusing traffic signals and unforeseen detours. Sometimes, a government entity might be accountable for failing to signal road hazards.

Weather Conditions

Heavy rainfall can make roads slippery, and various weather conditions hinder visibility. While some weather-related accidents might be attributed to unavoidable “acts of God,” in some cases, a liable party is responsible. For example, negligence in promptly salting icy roads can make it exceptionally challenging for a loaded truck to stop abruptly.

Unrealistic Time Pressures

Certain trucking companies force drivers to expedite cargo deliveries to enhance their profits. A driver who succumbs to this pressure and speed is partially guilty of ensuing accidents.

Inadequate Driver Training

Poor driver training typically doesn’t fall squarely on the driver’s shoulders, as it is the responsibility of the trainer to provide comprehensive driver education. An inadequately trained driver might not even recognize their skill deficiencies.

What Are the Types of Truck Accidents?

Below, we’ve outlined some of the prevailing types of truck accidents that you may encounter:

Rollover Accidents

If a truck driver loses control, the truck can slide and tip over, posing a grave threat to neighboring vehicles. Rollover accidents may occur due to excessive speed, abrupt turns on curves, collision with objects, or navigating steep inclines and declines. Truck drivers must exercise caution, understand vehicle limitations, lower their speed limits, and remain vigilant for potential rollover triggers.

Jackknife Accidents

Jackknifing occurs when a large truck folds at an angle of 90 degrees, forming a configuration akin to an open jackknife. Braking too abruptly is a common cause, and this phenomenon can escalate rapidly into a dangerous situation. Jackknifing trucks can encroach upon other lanes, imperiling adjacent vehicles and potentially leading to subsequent accidents.

Wide Turn or “Squeeze Play” Accidents

While taking right turns, truck drivers often initiate a slight leftward swing to allow space for the turn. However, this necessitates caution regarding vehicles behind and to the right. Failure to do so might result in another driver perceiving the truck as merging left, leading them to attempt overtaking on the right. This can make the driver feel squeezed between the truck’s front and rear sections.

Underride Accidents

Underride accidents occur when a truck decelerates suddenly, causing vehicles behind to collide and wedged beneath the truck’s trailer. Such incidents rank among the most fatal truck accident types.

T-Bone Accidents

These accidents occur when a driver disregards a red light or fails to yield at an intersection, resulting in a collision that forms a “T” shape. These accidents are particularly severe when involving trucks due to their size. Therefore, adherence to traffic signals is crucial for truck drivers to avert such collisions.

Blind Spot Accidents

Like any vehicle, trucks have blind spots, which are even more substantial. These areas, often called “No Man’s Land,” encompass sides and rear sections. These sections are risky for other drivers due to being struck, forced off the road, or colliding with the truck due to limited visibility.

Truck Tire Blowouts

Neglecting tire inspections can lead to blowouts that send the truck veering unpredictably, endangering surrounding vehicles.

Rear-End Truck Accidents

While possible between any vehicles, rear-end collisions pose heightened risks when involving large trucks, even at low speeds.

Head-On Truck Accidents

Head-on collisions with commercial trucks can have devastating consequences, especially for smaller vehicles.

Brake Failure Accidents

Although uncommon due to stringent maintenance, brake failures can still occur. Causes include inadequate upkeep, improper installation, old brakes, and overheating. Brake failure might implicate multiple parties, including the driver and the employing trucking company.

How to deal with a Truck Accident?

The foremost action you should take after a truck accident is prioritizing your well-being by seeking medical care for any injuries sustained. After receiving necessary medical attention, it’s essential to promptly engage the services of a trucking accident lawyer to handle your case. A qualified commercial truck accident lawyer can provide valuable assistance as you navigate the process of filing a claim. He’ll help you negotiate with the insurance company and pursue rightful compensation.

Get Your Legal Advocacy with Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyers

If you’ve encountered a truck accident, get the support of our best truck accident lawyers who can claim your rights. Our legal experts have litigation experience and have represented clients across diverse truck collision cases. We offer a free consultation and charge fee once your case is successfully resolved. Contact us today to directly discuss your case with our qualified attorney and obtain the diligent professional attention you deserve.

Bottom Line

Knowing the root causes of truck accidents is essential for promoting road safety and preventing future incidents. Addressing these common causes of truck accidents can pave the way for a future with fewer truck accidents and more secure journeys. Remember, a collective effort from truck drivers, fleet managers, regulators, and fellow motorists is crucial in reducing these accidents.


After a truck accident, prioritize safety by moving to a safe location if possible. Check for injuries and seek medical attention for yourself and others if necessary. Contact the police to report the accident and exchange information with the truck driver. Document the scene, gather witness information, and take photos if possible. Notify your insurance company, but be cautious when discussing details. Consult an attorney for legal guidance.

In case of a truck driver accident, the driver should follow safety protocols, like checking for injuries and reporting the accident to their employer and the authorities. The trucking company may conduct an internal investigation. If the accident was the driver’s fault, they could face legal consequences and potential job repercussions.

Semi trucks are involved in a significant number of accidents, but the exact figures vary from year to year and region to region. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) tracks these statistics, and factors like driver behavior, road conditions, and truck maintenance can influence accident rates.

After a truck accident, legal actions can include filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the truck driver, their employer, or other parties if negligence is involved. You can seek compensation for medical expenses, property damage, pain, suffering, and other losses. Consult with a personal injury attorney to explore your legal options.

Truck accident injuries tend to be more serious than those in other car accidents due to the sheer size and weight of truck-s. Trucks can weigh 20-30 times more than an average car, leading to greater impact forces. This can result in more severe injuries and damage to smaller vehicles involved in the accident.

A company can be liable after a truck crash if it employs the truck driver and the driver’s negligence or actions within the scope of their employment contributed to the accident. Additionally, if the company failed to properly maintain the truck, ensure driver qualifications, or violated safety regulations, they may be held liable for the accident.

If you are partly at fault in a truck accident, your ability to seek compensation may depend on the laws of your jurisdiction. In some states, you can still recover damages, but they may be reduced based on your level of fault. In others, a doctrine called “contributory negligence” may prevent recovery if you are found even partially at fault.

No, it’s not necessarily true that there’s no liability on the trucker if a truck jackknifes. Jackknifing can occur due to various factors, including driver error, poor road conditions, or equipment failure. If the trucker’s negligence, such as speeding or sudden braking, contributes to the jackknife accident, they may still be held liable for resulting damages and injuries. Liability depends on the specific circumstances of the accident.

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