Truck accidents happen across the United States daily for many reasons. Common causes of rear-end truck accidents include distracted driving, reckless driving, driving while under the influence, driving while fatigued, and weather conditions.
Drivers owe others on the road a duty of care to drive safely. When people engage in unsafe behaviors and cause an accident, the at-fault driver could have to pay for the damages the accident caused.
Common Causes of Rear-End Truck Accidents
While truck accidents can happen for any reason, some occur more often than others. Common behaviors that could lead to a rear-end truck accident could include the following:
- The driver drove while distracted.
- The driver engaged in reckless driving behaviors.
- The driver drove while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The driver drove while tired.
- Poor weather conditions caused a slick road or other complications.
These behaviors or factors could cause a truck to rear-end the vehicle in front of them.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention away from driving. Drivers cannot drive safely unless their full attention is on the road. Examples of distracted driving include:
- Texting on a cell phone
- Talking on a cell phone or to other passengers in the car
- Eating or drinking
- Changing the radio or stereo
- Putting information into a navigation system
Drivers can get distracted in three ways. First, visual distractions can take their eyes off the road. Manual distractions can take their hands off the wheel. Finally, cognitive distractions can take the driver’s mind off the road. All these distractions can cause a dangerous accident that could harm or kill someone.
If a truck driver drives while distracted, they might not see the stopped vehicles in front of them, which can cause a rear-end accident.
Reckless driving occurs when someone willfully operates a vehicle in a way that shows indifference to the safety of people or property around them. Common reckless driving behaviors could include:
- Excessive speeding
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Running stop signs or red lights
When someone drives too close to the motor vehicle in front of them, they have less time to react if the vehicle suddenly stops, causing a rear-end truck accident.
Driving While Under the Influence (DUI)
When someone drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it could significantly impact their cognitive abilities. This behavior causes fatal accidents across the United States daily.
Alcohol can cause the following impairments to people driving:
- Impaired judgment
- Lower motor coordination
- Memory loss
- Major loss of balance
- Lowered alertness
- Decreased inhibition
While under the influence, truck drivers operating a big rig or 18-wheeler could cause catastrophic rear-end accidents. With a lowered reaction time, they might not see cars stop in front of them in time to stop. In addition, the truck’s weight could affect other vehicles on the road.
Driving While Fatigued
Truckers must follow rules that ensure they get enough sleep before returning to the roads. But, unfortunately, sometimes, this doesn’t relieve the issue of truck drivers driving while they’re tired. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fatigued driving is similar to impaired driving.
The impacts of driving while fatigued include:
- Nodding off
- A slower reaction time if the road conditions change
- Poor decision-making
- Crossing over lanes
- Experiencing tunnel vision
- Forgetting the last few minutes that they drove
Truckers who drive while tired could cause rear-end accidents if they fall asleep behind the wheel or make poor driving decisions.
Poor Weather Conditions
Poor weather conditions like rain, sleet, or snow can cause rear-end truck accidents. If the roads are slick, drivers must give themselves significantly more space to stop. If not, they could slide into vehicles in front of them.
It is important for any vehicle, especially large trucks, to exercise caution when driving under poor weather conditions.
Establishing Fault After a Rear-End Truck Accident
It is common for people to assume the driver who hit the vehicle in front of them is at fault for the accident. However, the vehicle in front is at fault in some situations, such as:
- The lead driver suddenly goes into reverse.
- The lead driver doesn’t have properly functioning brakes.
- The lead driver stops suddenly without any reason or warning.
Anyone who sustains injuries in a rear-end accident because of someone else’s fault could recover compensation for their injuries. A personal injury attorney can help them build a case to prove they deserve the compensation.
Call Us Today for Legal Help With a Rear-End Truck Accident
Did you sustain injuries in a rear-end truck accident that someone else caused? If so, you can fight for compensation to recover from your losses. The injury attorneys at The Fitch Law Firm LLC have helped many people recover the money they need to pay for their medical bills and other losses.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We can discuss your legal options and explain how our attorneys can help you.