By: Robert F. Goings
What Causes Truck Accidents in South Carolina?
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) data has confirmed that driver error is the leading cause of large truck accidents. Driver-related factors contributed to 31 percent of fatal truck accidents. In fact, the NTSB found that fatigue and overwork were responsible for up to 40 percent of all truck accidents. This is why Federal law regulates how much time a truck driver can spend on the road. These are referred to as hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. HOS regulations dictate how long a driver can stay behind the wheel without a break and how many hours they can drive within a given time span. Many trucker drivers choose to drive past the point of fatigue because they are under pressure from customers or shipping companies. Studies have shown that some trucker turn to illegal substances to stay awake during their long hours on the road. Trucking companies become liable when drivers violate the law or cause trucking accidents.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, several types of truck driver negligence or errors play a major role in causing serious tractor-trailer accidents. Some of the main factors in truck accidents include:
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions, which was responsible for 7 percent of large truck accidents
- Distracted Driving, which played a role in 6 percent of fatal accidents involving large trucks.
- Improper Lane Shifting or Failure to stay in the proper lane, which was a factor in 6 percent of large truck crashes.
Other common causes or types of truck accidents that top the list include:
- Rollovers & Jack-knifing – Large truck are more likely to result in a roll-over accident due to the size, weight, and height of the vehicle. If the truck is carrying a load or pulling a trailer, the rollover can result from a jack-knifing.
- Blind-spots – Trucks typically have blind spots both at the back and on the sides. These are referred to as no-zones. If a driver fails to carefully monitor the blind spots, accidents can happen when the truck turns or changes lanes.
- Brake failure – Trucks always require more distance to stop. Unbalanced loads, poor maintenance, speeding, mechanical malfunctions, road conditions and weather can all prevent a truck’s being unable to stop on time. One study found that 46 percent of randomly inspected trucks had to be taken off the road until their brakes could be fixed.
- Under ride accidents – When a smaller vehicle collides with a large truck with a higher center of gravity, it may slide underneath the body or frame of the large truck. This commonly referred to as an “under ride accident.” Due to the nature of this collision, the driver or passengers in the small vehicle may suffer serious brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or even death.
Have Questions for a Truck Accident Attorney in South Carolina?
If you have any questions about truck or eighteen wheeler accidents in South Carolina, it is best to contact a our Truck Accident Attorneys for a free consultation. The Goings Law Firm, LLC is available at 803-350-9230 or you may contact us online to answer your questions.