Thousands of people die and hundreds of thousands more are injured in truck accidents every year. While truck accident fatalities dropped during the recession, over the past several years, the number of fatal truck accidents has been increasing steadily. In fact, by many accounts, 2015 is expected to have been the deadliest year for motorists since 2007. Locally, data from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety show that accidents in Chatham County are also on the rise.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a Georgia trucking accident, you may have a claim for financial compensation. Continue reading for a list of the top 10 causes of trucking accidents that can entitle victims to recover their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and other losses:
1. Brake Problems
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), brake problems are a factor in 29 percent of all crashes involving large trucks—more frequent than any other cause. When a brake failure leads to a truck accident, there are numerous parties that could be financially responsible. Depending on the specific issue, the truck manufacturer, brake manufacturer, truck dealer, owner-operator, trucking company, and maintenance shop that serviced the truck could all potentially be to blame.
The FMCSA identifies “traveling too fast for conditions” as the second leading cause of truck accidents. According to the FMCSA, speeding plays a role in 23 percent of all trucking collisions. This could include exceeding the posted speed limit, exceeding the safe speed for weather and road conditions, or driving dangerously in heavy traffic.
3. Unfamiliarity with the Route
Large trucks take skill to navigate and are difficult to stop. From approaching corners too fast to paying attention to GPS devices instead of the road, unfamiliarity creates a number of risks that can lead to dangerous accidents. With I-95 being a major trucking route, we frequently see out-of-town trucks here in Savannah.
4. Roadway Problems
The FMCSA reports that roadway problems are the fourth most common factor in trucking accidents. This includes things like potholes, inadequate lighting, and dangerous curves for which the government agency that designed or maintains the road may be responsible.
5. Over-the-Counter Drug Use
Over-the-counter (OTC) drug use ranks fifth on the top causes of trucking accidents according to the FMCSA. OTC drug use plays a role in 17 percent of truck collisions. In many cases, truck drivers take antihistamines (allergy medications), cold medicines, and other OTC medications in an effort to stay awake during long hauls. Unfortunately, these drugs can also have dangerous side effects, including drowsiness and reflex impairment.
6. – 10. Driver-Related Errors
Rounding out the FMCSA’s top 10 causes of trucking accidents are five different types of driver-related errors:
- Inadequate surveillance of the road
- Feeling under pressure to meet deadlines
- Making illegal maneuvers
- Inattention to the road
Have You Been Injured or Lost a Loved One in a Georgia Trucking Accident?
Attorney B. Clarke Nash represents trucking accident victims and their families throughout Georgia. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a trucking accident, call The Law Offices of B. Clarke Nash, P.C. at (912) 200-5292 for a free consultation today.