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3 causes of truck accidents

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In Tennessee and across the United States, truck accidents represent a threat to drivers and passengers on the road. Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Tennessee's Department of Safety & Homeland Security shows that truck accidents lead to over 100 fatalities every year in the state.

Furthermore, more than 4,000 people across the country are killed in these accidents annually. While there is inherent risk in operating powerful, fast-moving motor vehicles on Tennessee highways, most truck accident Tennessee lawyers would say that truck accidents are preventable. The following three causes of truck accidents may help to illustrate this point.

1 - Driver behavior

Whether a driver is operating a commercial truck or a passenger car, the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents in general apply. According to the United States Department of Transportation, speeding contributes to one-third of all accidents on American roads.

The American Automobile association found that distracted driving may contribute to up to 50 percent of accidents, including those involving truckers. Drunken driving and drowsy driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are also leading contributors to truck and car accidents. Traffic laws, such as those for distracted driving, are strengthening in many jurisdictions, but incidence rates remain high.

2 - Size

Another reason for truck accidents stems from the physical difference in size between tractor trailers and passenger vehicles. To illustrate this point, the average passenger car weighs approximately 5,000 pounds. By contrast, a tractor-trailer weighs up to 80,000 pounds. In other terms, trucks on the road may be up to 16 times heavier than cars.

It is also helpful to remember that, whereas passenger cars feature four wheels, trucks may feature 18 wheels. Their corresponding ability to accelerate, brake or shift to the left or right is limited. Therefore, when passenger cars drive with negligence around trucks, such as improperly merging or abruptly changing lanes, trucks may be incapable of responding in order to avoid an accident.

3 - Transportation industry demand

Truck accident Tennessee lawyers know that an indirect cause of truck accidents relates to the dynamics of the transportation industry. As the economy expands, demand for shipped goods increases, which requires trucking companies to hire more drivers.

According to the American Trucking Association, due to higher demand for shipped goods, there are over 30,000 unfilled truck driver jobs in the United States. Some drivers may not be properly qualified or trained, which increases the risk of accidents. Furthermore, strict deadlines may lead to speeding or drowsy driving, which adds to the risk of truck accidents.

Legal representation

Drivers or passengers who have sustained injuries in truck accidents may be entitled to compensation for damages. These individuals may wish to consult with truck accident Tennessee lawyers. Dealing with insurers and navigating the legal process, especially after an accident, can be challenging and may warrant such help.

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