Trucking companies in Missouri significantly impact emergency medical response and highway safety as they transport goods across the state. Unfortunately, some truck accidents in Missouri lead to severe injuries and deaths. The major causes of trucking accidents in Missouri are discussed below.
Causes of Missouri Truck Accidents
The causes of Missouri truck accidents can lead to severe injuries and damage. When a semi-truck or other large truck is involved in an accident, the damage is often catastrophic. The best outcome in this situation is no injuries or fatalities, but that is not always what happens. Here are the top 10 causes of truck accidents in Missouri:
1. Driver Error
Driver error is the most common cause of accidents in general, and this is especially true when it comes to truckers. The National Safety Council reports that 20% of all trucking accidents in 2014 were caused by driver error. Drug and alcohol abuse is a significant factor in this problem, with around 1/5th of all fatal truck-related accidents caused by impaired drivers.
Speeding is another prevalent cause of Missouri trucking accidents. According to the National Safety Council, speed was a factor in 28% of all trucking accidents in 2014. Speeding is a problem for all drivers, but truck drivers are more likely to be ticketed for speeding than most people. A 2012 report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shows that 13% of truckers have been speeding within the last year.
3. Excessive Cargo
Excessive cargo can cause serious problems for any vehicle, and it’s no different for large trucks. Truck drivers often carry more than 100,000 pounds of cargo, the weight of about 20 cars. When this much weight is added to the vehicle, it can cause severe problems for the safety equipment on a large truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that cargo-related issues are a problem in around 11% of fatal truck accidents.
4. Snow and Ice
One of the biggest causes of trucking accidents in Missouri during winter months is poor road conditions leading to loss of control. Snow and ice can cause many accidents nationwide in the winter, especially on interstates. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that poor road conditions cause around 9% of all casualties during December.
5. Failure to Use Lights
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that around 2/3rds of all truck accidents during the winter months are due to failure to use headlights. Snow and ice can cause poor visibility, and you should always use your headlights in these conditions. In addition to making it easier to see the road ahead, headlights are required by law in many states, and failing to do so is one of the most common causes of Missouri trucking accidents.
6. Driver Fatigue
Trucks can be dangerous for drivers, especially when it comes to fatigue. According to the National Safety Council, about 2/3rds of all trucking accidents are due to fatigue problems. Fatigue is a severe problem for truck drivers and should be taken seriously. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that driver fatigue was responsible for around 11% of fatal truck accidents.
7. Unsafe Road Conditions
Unsafe road conditions can cause anything from minor incidents to major accidents, and this is true no matter what type of road you’re driving on. Bad weather can make driving hazardous, especially in areas where snow, ice, and rain have already caused problems. 18% of all fatal truck accidents during the first 11 months of 2013 were due to unsafe road conditions.
8. Inattentive Driving
Driving while talking on cell phones is something that many drivers do, but it is dangerous not only to others but also to yourself. According to the National Safety Council, around 1 in 10 accidents are caused by inattentive driving. This number is much higher for truckers, with about 1 in 3 fatal accidents caused by cell phone use. Distracted driving can cause more than just accidents. An inattentive driver can miss any warning signs that another driver might spot, causing an accident without realizing it.
9. Red Light Violations
Drivers should always stop at red lights and stop signs, but many drivers don’t pay attention when they turn or change lanes. Red light violations cause many accidents in all parts of the country. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, red-light violations resulted in around 8% of fatal truck accidents in 2013.
10. Vehicle Failure
Truckers drive huge vehicles, and they can experience failures that would not affect smaller vehicles. Engine failure is a prevalent cause of trucking accidents, with the National Safety Council reporting that this problem was a factor in over 12% of all fatal truck accidents in 2012
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