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What are the major causes of truck accidents?

Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents are not uncommon on U.S. roads. Thankfully, most accidents are minor, including fender benders between cars or side swipes. With today's car technology features, even many serious accidents end with the victims of all vehicles walking away. Unfortunately, when it comes to truck accidents, the occupants of the car are less likely to get lucky and walk away.

According to the United States Department of Transportation, truck accidents led to nearly 5,000 fatalities and over 100,000 injuries in 2006. The reasons for truck accidents are vast, as truck drivers are exposed to dangers not experienced by traditional car drivers. Due to their size and weight and momentum, especially while transporting cargo, trucks take far more space to slow and stop. They are especially vulnerable to crosswinds in open areas and on bridges. Even with numerous mirrors, most trucks have significant blind spots. This is not to say that all truck drivers are innocent. Some accidents are due to driver negligence.

Some truck drivers are asked to drive for extended periods of time, often in violation of the law, to meet deadlines. Drivers may also be fatigued or distracted by eating, texting or changing the radio. Some truck drivers do not have enough experience or the appropriate qualifications or education to drive the big rigs. And lastly, mechanical failure may cause an accident.

In many of these instances, someone is negligent, and liable for the cause of the truck accident. Whether it is the driver him or herself, the trucking company, insurance company, truck manufacturer or even contractors working with the trucking company, if negligence played a role in the accident and can be proven, truck accident victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.

Source: findlaw.com, "Truck Accident Overview," Accessed Sep. 14, 2015

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