Highways are a defining feature of the landscape here in northwest Indiana, with heavy traffic crisscrossing through our state at a continuous pace. With this comes risks, particularly for motorists who find themselves near mammoth semi-trucks.

According to the CDC, about one in every three long-haul truck drivers has been involved in a serious crash during their driving career. Of course, those wrecks don’t just pose a danger to the truckers. Every other motorist on the road is at risk of being injured, or worse, as a result of a semi crash.

What are common causes of a semi crash?

Motor vehicle crashes are complicated. There are countless factors to consider, including driver behavior, vehicle performance, weather, road conditions and outside influences. However, many accidents can be untangled and resolved.

In a study from one federal agency, researchers determined the 10 most common associated factors in large truck crashes. They are:

  • Brake problems
  • An interruption in the flow of traffic, such as congestion or a different crash
  • Prescription drug use
  • Speeding or going too fast for the current conditions
  • Unfamiliarity with the route
  • Roadway problems
  • Being required to stop before the crash (e.g. a traffic control device or crosswalk)
  • Over-the-counter drug use
  • Inadequate surveillance
  • Fatigue/tiredness

Some of these may be the result of negligence – potentially on the part of the driver, their employer or even a parts manufacturer. Drivers feeling under pressure from their carrier was cited in 10% of recorded crashes. Drug or alcohol use on the part of the driver is another factor, though this occurred relatively infrequently compared to other factors.

Victims of truck crashes do have an option: a personal injury lawsuit. This legal action offers a way to ease the financial burden of their suffering, such as medical bills and lost wages from having to take time off work. Serious crashes might also lead to compensation for future financial needs.