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Common Causes of Truck Accidents in South Carolina

Common Causes of Truck Accidents in South Carolina

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.


South Carolina Car Accident Fatality Statistics

By: Robert F. Goings

The number of fatal car accident dropped in South Carolina by approximately 15 percent in 2013 based on statistics from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety Traffic.  The South Carolina Highway Patrol campaigned strongly for people to be aware of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycles during the year.  The number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths decreased, however, the number of motorcycle deaths increased in 2013.  The decline in fatalities on South Carolina roadways is a 41 percent decrease compared to the number of fatal car accidents in 2011.  However, several studies rank South Carolina drivers as among the worst in the nation for causing motor vehicle accidents.  South Carolina drivers received low scores on failure to obey traffic signals, drunk driving, and reckless driving.  South Carolina also has a high number of truck accidents caused by logging trucks and long haul tractor trailers operating on South Carolina highways.

To compare the number of 2013 v. 2014 South Carolina traffic related fatalities, click here.

If a family member or loved one has suffered a fatality from a car accident or truck accident in South Carolina, contact the Goings Law Firm today at (803) 350-9230 to find out about your legal rights.  We handle wrongful death lawsuits in Columbia, South Carolina and throughout the state caused by the negligence and reckless driving of others.


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