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What Causes Commercial Vehicle Accidents?

Written by Ankin Law Office

There are many causes of commercial motor vehicle accidents, including driver caused, vehicle caused, and environmental caused wrecks. In Illinois, it is the responsibility of a commercial motor vehicle operator to maintain control over their vehicle at all times. When a driver causes a wreck, a truck accident lawyer can pursue the driver and/or their employer for damages. 

Driver Caused Crashes

Driver caused crashes include driving while intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or drugs, traveling too fast for conditions, and driving while fatigued. In recent years, driving while fatigued has become a leading cause of both passenger and large vehicle accidents in the United States.

Other drivers caused reasons recorded by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration include driving while under the influence of prescription or over-the-counter drugs, distracted driving, and aggressive driving.

Vehicle Caused Crashes

Commercial motor vehicle operators are required to inspect and maintain their vehicles to ensure it is roadworthy. This includes confirming that the tires are in good condition and are inflated to the appropriate PSI. Drivers must also ensure that their engine and brake systems are in good condition and that the vehicle is properly loaded and secured prior to transporting cargo.

Often, there are multiple vehicles caused factors that contribute to a crash. Essentially, when one system fails, it can lead to a chain reaction of failures. Many times vehicle caused factors are entirely preventable and are traced back to a failure to perform maintenance, poor training, and willful disregard of established safety regulations. 

Road and Environmental Caused Crashes

Not every accident is the sole fault of the driver, and there may be many contributing causes to a large vehicle crash. These can include inadequate road maintenance, improperly completed road construction, and poor road design. When problems with the road contribute to causing a crash, a truck accident lawyer may be able to pursue claims against business owners and government entities who were responsible for the road surface.  

Weather also plays a significant role in a number of large vehicle accidents in Illinois, Rain, sleet, and snow can reduce traction between the tires and the road surface. Similarly, fog and low-light conditions can significantly reduce a driver’s field of vision. However, while no one can control the weather, it is the driver who is ultimately responsible for reducing their speed and adjusting their driving behaviors for poor weather and low-light travel conditions.