Truck Accidents
LexInter | February 9, 2023 | 0 Comments

The Truth Behind Truck Accidents

You’ve probably experienced it before; that anxious sensation you get passing a commercial truck on the highway, almost holding your breath a little as you grip your steering wheel until your knuckles turn white, trying to keep it as straight as possible until you’re past that gigantic, metal death machine.

Alright, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but still, truck accidents do happen. Each year, in the state of Illinois, there are an estimated 1,000 truck-related accidents, with nearly 10% of them resulting in a fatality. How can this be the case when there are so many regulations meant to prevent them? The answer: is negligence.

Uncovering the Root Causes of Truck Accidents

Driver Negligence

Truck Accident

Nearly 90% of all truck-related accidents are faulted by the driver of the truck. This, of course, could mean many things. Truck driver negligence looks very similar to the negligence of the drivers of passenger cars. An at-fault truck driver could have been guilty of distracted driving after sending a text or adjusting the radio, they could be driving under the influence and unable to react quickly to hazards, or they could be driving recklessly by giving into road rage or ignoring traffic laws like right-of-way or speed limits. No matter what the exact nature, if a driver is shown to have not been committed to proper road safety, they could owe financial compensation to the victims of their negligence in the form of coverage of medical bills, damaged property, or any additional pain and suffering.

Overworked Drivers

While driving drowsy could also be considered another form of driver negligence, the issue extends far beyond that. There are certain rules surrounding the ratio of rest to relaxation required of commercial truck drivers, put in place in an effort to minimize the risk of drivers falling asleep behind the wheel. Truck drivers are only allowed to work up to 14 consecutive hours at a time, with only 11 of these hours allowed to be used for driving, and must take a 30-minute break after they’ve driven for eight consecutive hours. Once they’ve reached this 14-hour limit, they are not allowed to do any more driving until they’ve been off-duty for a minimum of 10 consecutive hours.

Semi Truck Accident

For a while, there was an issue with drivers meeting these requirements, either skipping breaks or working longer shifts to meet deadlines and picking up the slack from driver shortages. These rules, however, are in place to protect truck drivers as well as the drivers that they share on the road. So, Electronic Logging Devices (EDLs) were added to commercial trucks in an effort to track work hours and further enforce safety regulations. If a driver is involved in a road-related accident, oftentimes their EDL will be reviewed to determine whether or not they complied with safety regulations. If it is found that they failed to comply, then they could be found negligent and owe financial compensation to their victims.

Neglected Maintenance

The second leading cause of truck accidents, making up nearly ten percent of all crashes, issues with the vehicle itself. Like with the drivers, there are many rules surrounding the upkeep of the truck in order to assure that it does not pose a threat to others on the road. Federal maintenance laws require companies to follow a strict schedule for having trucks inspected and repaired to ensure that high-wear parts like the brakes, tire, and engine are in proper condition to keep the truck running smoothly. If the truck is involved in a road-related accident and it is suspected to have been due to a mechanical error, then the maintenance records could be checked to be sure that all legal maintenance requirements had been met. Like with any other form of negligence, if a company is found not to have been properly maintaining the truck, then they could owe financial compensation to the victims of the accident.

Tow Truck Accidents


If you find yourself to be the victim of a truck-related accident, it is important that you take the proper steps to increase your chances of receiving proper compensation for your losses. The first step is, of course, to contact the authorities and seek medical treatment. Then, document everything that happened before and after the crash. If you have a dashboard camera, provide the footage as evidence to support your innocence. If you speak to the truck driver, either record or write down the conversation that takes place between you. Don’t stop the documentation there–keep track of all interactions with medical professionals, insurance providers, and mechanics, that way you will be fully compensated for all of your sufferings.

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