A truck accident is just that, an accident; no one starts up his or her vehicle and hopes to be involved in a trailer truck collision by the end of the day. Unfortunately, while motorists try to avoid collisions and accidents, they still happen every day. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, in 2022 alone, there were 15,005 truck accidents. In fact, since 2002, accidents involving commercial vehicles has remained fairly consistent. Therefore, while every motorist has good intentions when they get behind the wheel, these intentions don’t always pan out. With this in mind, there are four common causes of Missouri Truck accidents.
The top cause of not just Missouri truck accidents but those that occur in any state is driver error. Truckers work long hours, which means distracted and drowsy driving plays a big role in truck accident scenarios. If you are on the road with commercial vehicles, make sure to give them space for your safety.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Truckers take their rigs thousands of miles every day. When we think about the combination of harsh road conditions, normal wear and tear, and infrequent maintenance; it’s only a matter of time before a truck breaks down. Truck equipment failure is harder to control when compared to normal vehicle failure, so truckers and other motorists are at extreme risk of injury when this occurs.
How Does Equipment Failure Cause Missouri Truck Accidents?
There is a lot of important equipment on a tractor-trailer, and although some are similar to those you’d find on a passenger vehicle, they’re still substantially larger and can result in more damage. The most common pieces of equipment or systems that are the most likely to fail and result in a truck accident include the brakes, tires and wheels, steering system, trailer attachments, suspension, body, doors, hood, mirrors, warning lights, and transmission. Some accidents that could occur due to these failures may include a tire and wheel coming off at highway speeds, brake failure that results in an inability to stop before a collision, broken steering that would prevent necessary maneuvering, and more. While not every malfunction or failure can be predicted, keeping up with routine maintenance as they should be will help prevent a large number of accidents.
Just like other motorists, the weather conditions contribute to Missouri truck accidents as truckers are severely impacted by bad weather. In fact, truckers have a harder time dealing with inclement weather due to their heavy loads and their slower stopping speeds. When a trucker loses control of a truck in bad weather, the trailer is at risk of jackknifing, hydroplaning or flipping over. Therefore, when trailing a truck in bad weather, make sure you leave ample space!
Improper Loading Technique
Warehouse workers are supposed to follow proper cargo loading etiquette to ensure truck safety, but often, these stipulations are overlooked. But what exactly is improper loading and how does it cause Missouri truck accidents? Improper loading can cause a truck to malfunction from overhauling, and in some cases, can result in cargo flying out of the truck and onto the road where other vehicles are at risk of running over or colliding with it or other vehicles.
Vehicle Safety Requirements for Missouri Trucks
Commercial vehicles are subjected to specific regulations and standards in order to make them safe for public roadways. Truckers must adhere to the following:
- Stay within the required height, length, and weight restrictions as required depending on the highway, interstate, or commercial zone they are traveling in
- Trucks must be parked with the legal name of the carrier as well as the US DOT identification number
- Maintain thorough inspection reports and keep the records for one year
- Drivers must be at least 18 years old for intrastate commerce or 21 years old to operate across state lines or when transporting hazardous materials
- Drivers must have a full understanding of how to load, unload, block, and brace their cargo safely
- All drivers must complete a state Department of Transportation physical exam and hold a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL)
For more information on these rules and regulations, check out the Missouri Trucking Guide from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) and the rules set forth by the Missouri State Highway Patrol regarding size and weight regulations.
Involved in a Truck Accident? Secure Proper Representation
If you or a loved one is injured in a trucking accident, The Simon Law Firm can help! Over the years, our firm has secured hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. If you’re ready to fight for your case, contact us now!
Call (314) 241-2929 now for a free consultation for your case!