What Are the Main Causes of Commercial Vehicle Crashes?
What Are the Main Causes of Commercial Vehicle Crashes?

In 2015, there were 415,000 crashes involving commercial vehicles in the U.S., according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Those crashes resulted in 3,852 deaths, a 22% increase from 2009.

Leading Causes of Commercial Vehicle Crashes

What are the main causes of these crashes? A 2005 FMCSA report found the following factors to be the leading causes of commercial vehicle crashes:

  1. Brake problems (29%)
  2. Driver travelling too fast for conditions (23%)
  3. Driver unfamiliar with roadway (22%)
  4. Road problems (20%)
  5. Over-the-counter drug use (17%)
  6. Inadequate surveillance by driver (14%)
  7. Fatigue (13%)
  8. Driver felt pressure from carrier (10%)
  9. Driver made an illegal maneuver (9%)
  10. Inattention (9%)

Of course, many of these crashes involved more than one factor. Moreover, the No. 1 cause, brake problems, was often considered an associated problem. For instance, a driver may have been speeding and crashed because he hit the brakes too late.

While commercial vehicle manufacturers continue to make safety improvements to vehicles, the number of these crashes continues to rise. Looking at the main causes, it is clear that driver error contributes to far more accidents than do vehicle issues.

New FMCSA Rules on Cell Phones

The FMCSA estimates the rates of distracted driving as a factor in crashes has increased significantly in recent years. Thus, in 2010, the administration added new rules for commercial vehicle drivers regarding cell phone use. Commercial drivers are prohibited from using hand-held cell phones, and carriers are prohibited from requiring their drivers to use cell phones while driving their vehicles. Furthermore, drivers are prohibited from texting while driving a commercial vehicle.

“The rise in commercial vehicle crashes is a significant safety concern on our roadways. Clearly distraction and driver fatigue have become major factors in these accidents,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a truck accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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