Maryland Truck Accident Lawyer | Causes of Truck Accidents

Large commercial trucks pose a unique danger on U.S. roadways. Their massive size and weight require the skill of a well-trained and attentive driver in order to prevent serious truck accidents. Truck drivers must always be keenly aware of the limitations of their vehicle, as well as the vulnerability of the smaller passenger vehicles that Truck Accident Lawyersurround them on the road.

When a tractor-trailer is traveling at high speeds on a major highway, one small driving error can have catastrophic consequences, resulting in severe personal injury and even wrongful death.

If you have been injured, or if your loved one has been killed in a truck accident, it is likely that the truck driver’s negligence – or the careless actions of the trucking company itself – may have caused it.

Call (301) 605-9469 to schedule a free case evaluation with our experienced Rockville truck accident lawyer today.

Truck Accidents and Common Types of Driver Error

Many commercial truck accidents can be traced back to the fault of the truck driver or the trucking company. Below are some of the most common driver errors that contribute to truck accidents:

  • Driver Fatigue – In order to meet tight deadlines, many truckers drive for several hours on end, skipping over their required break time. Driver fatigue is the leading cause of tractor-trailer accidents.
  • Speeding or Aggressive Driving – In an effort to make a certain delivery window, or keep within an unrealistic delivery schedule truckers will often drive over the speed limit.
  • Drug use – To fight fatigue, some truckers will use stimulant drugs, such as methamphetamines, to help them stay awake. Unfortunately, these drugs come with dangerous side effects that can easily lead to a truck accident.
  • Improperly secured or unbalanced cargo – Truck drivers are responsible for making sure all cargo is properly secured. If it comes loose on a highway, it can cause accidents involving multiple vehicles.
  • Overloaded trucks – Truck drivers are also responsible for ensuring their load does not exceed the maximum weight capacity for their particular vehicle. Otherwise, the truck’s ability to stop or stopping distance can be dangerously limited. Rollover and jackknife truck accidents are more likely when a truck is overloaded.
  • Failure to inspect – Truckers must inspect their vehicles before and after every trip to make sure cargo is properly secured, and all major components are in working order, from tires, to brakes, to hold-down devices. If a driver fails to complete these inspections, their negligence could lead to a truck accident.

In each of these cases, the truck driver is the main negligent party. However, their neglect or wrongdoing may also be partly the fault of the trucking company that employs them.

Trucking Company Negligence

Some motor carriers give their drivers impossible delivery windows, forcing them to break federal trucking laws in order to make deliveries on time. If fatigued driving caused your truck accident, it can very often be traced back to an unreasonable or questionable company policy.

Below are some other ways that trucking company negligence leads to truck accidents:

  • Inadequate driver training – Truck drivers must go through rigorous testing and training in order to safely operate a large commercial vehicle and obtain special licenses. Carrying hazardous materials or other special types of cargo requires even further training. If a company skimps on this training and allows an unqualified driver out on the road, they can and should be held responsible.
  • Inadequate truck maintenance – Trucking companies must perform regular maintenance on their fleet of vehicles to ensure they are in proper working order. If a truck has not passed important safety inspections and it is allowed back out on the road, the company is liable for any truck accidents that occur.

Contact a Rockville, Maryland Truck Accident Lawyer

If you have further questions about truck accidents, please contact the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick today to schedule a free case evaluation with our Rockville truck accident lawyer. We represent injured truck accident victims throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.