Understanding Common Causes Of Large Truck Accidents In Colorado

There are many causes of commercial truck accidents, which claim the lives of thousands of Americans each year.

Commercial trucks are vital to Colorado's economy; however, they can pose a significant danger to other motorists who have to share the road with these massive vehicles. Since 2009, the number of people killed in accidents involving tractor-trailers has risen substantially. According to a NBC News report, statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration show that nearly 4,000 motorists are killed and an additional 100,000 people are injured in large truck accidents every year.

Although this problem has existed for years, it recently became a national topic of concern when a limousine carrying famous comedian and actor Tracy Morgan was rear-ended by a semitruck. Business week reports that the accident resulted in severe injuries to Morgan and several other passengers, as well as the death of Morgan's friend and fellow comedian Jimmy Mack. The truck driver responsible for the collision had been awake for 24 hours and was speeding at the time of the accident. The technologically advanced safety devices installed on the truck failed to alert the driver that traffic was slowing down on the New Jersey Turnpike. While the truck driver faces charges of assault, reckless driving and vehicular homicide, a lawsuit has also been filed against the company responsible for maintaining the tractor-trailer and scheduling the truck driver's hours.

Common causes of truck accidents

There are a myriad of ways that a truck accident can occur. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety and a leading American insurance agency list the following as some of the most common causes:

  • Equipment malfunction: Whether crucial safety devices, such as anti-lock brakes or speed sensors, fail to work properly or damage to a truck's drive train causes it to veer into oncoming traffic, equipment malfunction can result in a deadly accident.
  • Drowsy truck drivers: Many truck operators are pressured to meet their deadlines or motivated to stay behind the wheel to increase their paycheck. Yet disregard for the FMCSA's Hours of Service regulations can lead to truck driver fatigue and have devastating consequences.
  • Distracted truck drivers: The FMCSA also prohibits truck drivers from texting and driving, which includes viewing videos or operating navigation devices while driving.
  • Inclement weather: Bad weather, including icy, snowy, rainy, foggy and windy conditions can create dangerous driving hazards for high-profile vehicles. Jackknifing, sliding and loss of control are common dangers.

Improper weight distribution, as well as careless driving by motor vehicle drivers can also cause a severe accident.

Seek legal assistance

Large truck accidents can be life-changing for everyone involved. Those who are fortunate enough to survive may be left with traumatic injuries, extensive medical bills and a shattered emotional state. They may be unable to return to work and face financial hardships as a result of the accident. A personal injury attorney can represent those who wish to reclaim their lives after being involved in a truck accident. You may be eligible for financial compensation and other benefits that will help you get your life back on track.

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