5 Causes of Truck Accidents in the United States 


  • Truck accidents in the United States happen far too often every year, killing and injuring tens of thousands of people.
  • Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include driver fatigue, equipment failure, improper loading, distracted driving, and inexperienced drivers.
  • Truck accident victims can take several steps to protect their health and legal rights.
  • A skilled lawyer will give victims their best chance of obtaining fair compensation.

There were about 494,000 truck accidents in the United States in 2021. These accidents led to 5,149 deaths and approximately 110,000 severe injuries. While there are many causes of truck accidents, many of them boil down to one thing – negligence. Truck drivers, trucking companies, and other parties cause accidents that lead to tragedies and shatter lives forever.

Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia attorneys have a long track record of helping truck accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve. We’re ready to do the same for you. Please schedule a consultation by contacting us online or calling (800) 320-HELP.

The following is a brief look at five causes of truck accidents. You’ll also learn how WHG can help you get the money you have coming for the suffering you’ve experienced.

1. Driver Fatigue

Fatigued drivers are notorious for causing truck accidents in the United States. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, fatigue plays a role in 13% of wrecks involving large trucks.

Drivers not only spend hours behind the wheel, they also often face unreasonable deadlines. They’re under significant pressure, sometimes pushing their limits and compromising their alertness. Fatigue impairs a driver’s ability to react quickly and make sound judgments, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

The consequences of a fatigued truck driver can be severe, affecting the driver and other motorists sharing the road.

2. Equipment Failure

One of the other common causes of truck accidents is equipment failure. Trucks are complex machines with various components that must function correctly to ensure safety on the road. Brake failures, tire blowouts, and engine malfunctions can result from inadequate maintenance, manufacturing defects, or wear and tear.

When critical components fail, drivers may lose control of their vehicles, leading to accidents that threaten everyone on the road. Researchers conducting a study found that equipment failure contributed to 55% of truck accidents leading to an injury.

3. Improper Loading

Improper loading of cargo is a factor that can destabilize a truck and contribute to accidents. If workers fail to load and secure cargo properly, it can shift. This shifting can affect the truck’s balance and handling.

Overloaded trucks or unevenly distributed cargo can lead to a loss of control, rollovers, or other accidents. If you’re injured in an accident caused by negligent cargo loading, you may be able to sue the company responsible.

4. Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is also among the most common causes of truck accidents in the United States, affecting truck drivers. According to an FMCSA study, distractions contribute to 71% of all accidents involving large trucks.

Distractions such as using mobile phones, adjusting GPS devices, or engaging in other non-driving activities divert a driver’s attention from the road. With the size and weight of trucks, any momentary lapse in attention can have severe consequences.

5. Inexperienced Drivers

It’s getting harder for trucking companies to find qualified drivers. In a statement to Congress, Chris Spear, the President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, said the trucking industry faced a shortage of 78,000 drivers in 2022. Even worse, he predicted that number would grow to 160,000 by 2031.

Trucking companies often turn to inexperienced drivers to fill the void. However, operating a commercial truck requires specialized skills and knowledge due to the vehicle’s size and weight. Inexperienced drivers may struggle with proper maneuvering, braking, and responding to unexpected situations.

How to Receive Compensation for Your Truck Accident Injuries

You’ll likely face significant expenses if you suffer an injury in a truck accident. These include not only medical bills but also wages lost because you can’t work. You’re likely experiencing severe pain and possibly emotional distress as well.

You shouldn’t have to bear the financial burdens of a truck accident that wasn’t your fault. But if you’re going to get the money you deserve, you have to take action. The following are just some of the steps to take.

  • Seek medical attention: The most important priority is your health. See a doctor immediately, even if you think you’re fine. Many of the most common truck accident injuries don’t start to show symptoms until long after an accident. If you don’t get medical help, you’re risking your health and your case.
  • Document the scene: Document the accident scene by taking photographs and obtaining contact information from witnesses. This information can be valuable in establishing the circumstances surrounding the accident.
  • Contact law enforcement: Report the accident to the police, who will file a detailed report. This report can serve as crucial evidence in legal proceedings.
  • Preserve evidence: Preserve any evidence related to the accident, such as damaged vehicles, personal belongings, and medical records. This evidence can support your compensation claim.
  • Contact a truck accident attorney: Speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case details. The faster you do this, the faster your lawyer can investigate to gather critical evidence.

Contact Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia to Speak with an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney

If you have been involved in a truck accident, the experienced attorneys at Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia are here to help. We have extensive experience in determining the causes of truck accidents. Our lawyers understand the complexities involved in seeking compensation for injuries and damages.

When you turn to us, you’ll have a skilled advocate fighting passionately for your rights. Our team will work tirelessly to achieve a fair and just resolution. If you would like a free case review, please call (800) 320-HELP or use our online form.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do immediately following a truck accident?

Following a truck accident, the first priority is your safety and the safety of anyone else involved. Check on everyone, seek medical attention, document the scene, contact law enforcement, and preserve evidence. Also, get in touch with a lawyer to understand your legal options.

How long do I have to file a truck accident claim?

The statute of limitations (the deadline for filing your claim) is two years from the accident date. You won’t be eligible to pursue compensation if you don’t act within this timeframe.

How is fault determined in a truck accident case?

Investigators determine fault in a truck accident case using witness statements, police reports, expert analysis, and other forms of evidence. You need an attorney immediately so they can gather evidence before it disappears.

What makes a truck accident claim different from a car accident claim?

Truck accident claims differ from car accident claims due to the unique complexities involved. Insurance policies for large trucks can be worth $1 million or more because the potential for severe injuries and damages is higher. Trucking companies and insurers will fight fiercely to protect these policies.

No Win, No Fee Commitment

Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia is committed to helping you rebuild your life after a hardship. We are not just your legal team—we are your allies, your partners, and your advocates. We will do everything we can to handle your case with compassion and care, and to get you the results you need!

“And for every fight we take on, know this…we are doing everything we can to make sure we win!”

— Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia

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About the Author

Adam Werner is a partner and practicing attorney at WHG. He specializes in personal injury cases, workers’ compensation claims, and veteran disability benefits. He routinely writes about personal injury and workers comp topics for the Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia blog

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