Common Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents

Atlanta traffic is more than frustrating—it’s dangerous. And when you add tractor trailers and eighteen wheelers to the mix, there can be devastating consequences. At Pope & Howard, P.C., we represent individuals and families who have experienced the life-altering effects of unsafe trucking practices, and we want to pass along one of the most important ways that you can protect your family on the road: by learning to identify some of the most common causes oftractor trailer accidents.

 Driver Fatigue

Tractor trailer drivers aren’t paid by the mile—they’re paid by the shipment. That means that hundreds of thousands of truck drivers have probably been on the road too long without proper rest. In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board reports that truck driver fatigue is the cause of at least 40% of these catastrophic accidents, and over 50% of tractor trailer drivers have admitted to falling asleep at the wheel.

 Oversized Loads

Trucking regulations dictate that a tractor trailer may not exceed 80,000 pounds and must check in at interstate weigh stations. However, some truckers still run oversized loads, which puts other drivers on the road at risk. Overloaded trucks have an increased risk of tire blowouts, brake failures, and difficulty steering in emergency situations or inclement weather.

 Defective Truck Equipment

Despite the strict federal and state guidelines regulating the maintenance of tractor trailers, many trucking companies try to save money by cutting costs related to preventative repairs. Typically, defective equipment includes tires, brakes, anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and trailer hitches. Failing to repair these vital pieces of trucking equipment can cause dangerous tractor trailer accidents and put other motorists in danger.

 Unqualified Truck Drivers

All tractor trailer drivers are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). In order to gain this certification, drivers must graduate from a driving school and keep up with ongoing education. Unfortunately, some trucking companies allow truck drivers to operate tractor trailers without these qualifications. Without this training, truck drivers may not be prepared to handle adverse conditions or equipment failures.

 Tractor Trailer Attorneys at Pope & Howard, P.C.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor trailer accident, contact the trucking accident attorneys at Pope & Howard, P.C. at (866) 910-0642 for a free initial consultation. Personal injury lawyers Geoff Pope and Marc Howard can help you and your family gain the compensation you deserve.

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