Most semi-truck collisions occur due to a driver’s mistake. The motorists in the passenger vehicle or the commercial driver do something inappropriate that causes a collision. People often make small mistakes in traffic that can have major consequences. Common traffic errors include distracted driving, speeding and failing to use turn signals consistently.
However, it is possible for both of the drivers involved in a wreck to do everything right prior to a crash. Sometimes, factors outside of a motorist’s control are to blame for a collision. Rarely, environmental factors contribute to such crashes. Other times, issues with one of the vehicles will prevent drivers from properly responding to changing traffic conditions.
How often are issues with a vehicle the underlying cause of semi-truck crashes?
Vehicle issues cause thousands of crashes each year
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) establishes and enforces safety rules for semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles. The FMCSA also evaluates collision reports and safety data to create more effective policies.
According to the FMCSA, issues with the commercial vehicle are the cause of roughly 10% of semi-truck crashes. Issues could range from poorly-maintained brakes and tire blowouts to improperly loaded trailers. Unless the commercial driver is an owner-operator, the chances are good that responsibility for vehicle maintenance falls to their employer.
Companies often delay expensive maintenance or cut corners when purchasing vehicle parts to keep costs as low as possible. Those choices could have dire implications for others who encounter certain semi-trucks in traffic. Understanding that a transportation company, not a driver, might be at fault for a semi-truck crash could help people pursue a compensation claim after a wreck.