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The Most Frequent Causes of Pennsylvania Commercial Truck Accidents

Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents

Over 4,000 fatal commercial truck accidents occur across the United States annually, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Tens of thousands of big-rig accidents take place each year, causing injuries, oftentimes serious ones. There are some more common causes of semi-truck accidents that seriously impact the lives of victims of these collisions.

Distracted Big-Rig Operator

A common cause of an Allentown semi-truck accident is a distracted big-rig operator. Distracted semi drivers account for a significant percentage of the collisions that happen between commercial trucks and passenger automobiles. Indeed, thousands of distracted drivers are the cause of motor vehicle accidents of all types in the commonwealth, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Some of the behaviors that distracted semi drivers engage in include:
  • Talking on phone
  • Texting
  • Talking to a passenger
  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Adjusting audio equipment
  • Using GPS
As was the case with other states, Pennsylvania did enact a so-called anti-texting law in an attempt to reduce the number of distracted driving accidents caused by this activity. Some argue that the anti-texting law lacks teeth because the penalty for texting and driving is not particularly significant.

Impaired Semi Driver

Another common cause of a Pennsylvania truck accident is an impaired semi driver. This includes drivers impaired by alcohol as well as other mind-altering substances. As a side note, a number of trucking companies hire drivers with histories of driving while impaired. This often occurs because a semi operator provides false information about his or her record, and a trucking company fails to undertake a proper course of due diligence in advance of hiring the driver.

commercial truck accidents

Fatigued Commercial Truck Driver

The number of fatigued commercial truck drivers on Pennsylvania roadways is a public health hazard. A sad reality of the trucking industry is that time and again, drivers are on the road for longer periods of time than the law permits. A number of nefarious circumstances lead to truckers driving for longer periods of time than is legally permitted and safe. For example, some drivers utilize chemical substances to jolt their systems to keep them awake but not necessarily focused on the task at hand. In addition, drivers and trucking companies have been known to conspire to falsify a driver's log to "fudge" the amount of time actually spent on a trip.

Inadequate Driver Training

Some people are surprised to learn that a common cause of semi accidents is a driver that has failed to receive proper training. With shocking regularity, a trucking company will either employee an improperly trained rig operator or fail to provide proper training before letting a driver hit the road. Some less-than-reputable trucking companies do not provide proper training in an effort to get a driver on the road more quickly, so he or she can start making money for the firm immediately.

Mechanical Breakdown

Another underlying cause of a semi-truck accident is some type of mechanical breakdown or malfunction. This can be the result of improper maintenance of a rig. It also can result from some sort of defect in the vehicle or component part of the truck.

Multiple Causes

Finally, multiple underlying causes are also on the list. For example, a semi might experience a mechanical issue. The driver is distracted by talking on the phone about the mechanical problem. The combination of the mechanical issue and the distracted driver result in an accident.

Protect Your Legal Rights: Retain an Allentown Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in a big-rig accident, you need to be proactive in retaining the services of an Allentown truck accident attorney. The legal team at Metzger & Kleiner can schedule an initial consultation with you. Telephone us at (610) 435-7400 to make an appointment at your convenience. During the initial consultation with an Allentown truck accident lawyer, you will receive a comprehensive case evaluation and answers to any questions you may have about your case. There is no fee for an initial appointment with our firm. Our offices are located conveniently in Allentown at 137 North Fifth Street, Allentown, Pennsylvania 18102.

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