Causes of Indianapolis Trucking Accidents

July 11, 2016 | truck accident

Approximately 5000 people die in semi-truck accidents annually in the United States. Most of those victims were in passenger cars and pickup trucks which were hit by a big rig. Motor Carrier Management Information System[1] (MCMIS) rates a truck “Large” when its gross weight rating (GVWR) exceeds 10,000 pounds. 64% of major truck crashes with heavy fatalities involve tractor-trailer trucks that are pulling one trailer, 32% of those crashes involved single-unit trucks and fewer than 4% of those involved multi-trailer vehicles.

Because trucks are much larger than other vehicles, when accidents happen, the outcome usually results in a fatality. Whatever the circumstances surrounding the accident or what type it is, it is crucial that when they occur, you seek immediate proper medical care and then consult a knowledgeable attorney who is well versed in handling 18-wheeler accidents to protect your rights.

Causes of Truck and Semi-Truck Accidents in Indianapolis

Some of the major causes of Indiana truck and semi-truck accidents include:

Driver fatigue: Despite federal regulations and guidelines designed to prevent tired truck drivers, fatigued big rig drivers are still on the road especially since a driver gets paid more money the more that they drive.

Poor maintenance practices: Large rig tractor trailers travel tens of thousands of miles annually in this country. As a result, these semi’s require recurring inspection and maintenance. Without this, a semi-truck may not be able to avoid slamming into the vehicle in front of it, a wheel end may disengage from an axle, or an oncoming car may not see the truck’s tail or side lights until it is too late.

Runaway trailers: While runaway trailer accident may be fairly uncommon, trucking crashes caused by the disconnection of the trailer from the cab due to hitches, and chains do happen.  In many instances, tractor-trailer accidents involving detached trailers are caused by towing hitches that malfunction either because of malfunction or neglectful securing of the hitch.

Overloaded trailers / semi-trucks: Truck overloading is one of the primary causes of truck accidents. The illegal practice of truck overloading is done in an attempt to deliver more goods on a trip, increasing the profit made per trip. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association[2] limits the amount of weight a trailer can be loaded to at 80,000 pounds. That’s still 16 times heavier than the average weight of a passenger vehicle. A legally loaded tractor trailer traveling at 60 miles per hour needs at least 350 feet to come to a complete stop. An overloaded trailer will take even longer to come to a complete stop. Overloaded trailers are more susceptible to jack-knifing and other accidents.

Jackknifing: Jackknife is a term that applies to the perilous situation when a large 18-wheel truck and its trailer skids and the trailer swings out and stops to form an angle of 90 degrees with each other. When a big rig jackknifes the truck is likely to roll over. Usually, jackknifing happens when the truck driver takes a curve too fast or swerves to avoid other vehicles.

Driver error: This may be the most frequent reason behind vehicle crashes. Speeding in regularly sized vehicle is not safe, but a racing 18 wheeler that weighs 80,000 pounds can have destructive as well as fatal outcomes.

Contact an Indianapolis Truck Accident Attorney 

If you or a loved one were involved in an accident with a large truck, you likely sustained many serious injuries and maybe even life-changing disabilities. At the Fountain Law Firm, P.C., we have successfully helped many truck accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries and related losses. To make sure that you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled, it is important to have an experienced truck accident attorney handling your case. Attorney Merry Fountain can help you today by meeting in her office or by meeting in your home. Call Merry Fountain anytime at 1-888-242-HURT (4878) for a free consultation.