What Are the Top Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are a prevalent and often catastrophic occurrence on our roadways, causing significant property damage, injuries, and loss of life. In a good majority of these incidents, liability for the crash falls with the truck driver and/or trucking company. If you have been injured in a crash, a Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer can help you get the financial compensation you deserve.

Driver Fatigue

One of the leading causes of truck accidents is driver fatigue. Long hours behind the wheel, tight schedules, and pressure to meet delivery deadlines can result in truck drivers becoming exhausted. Fatigue impairs reaction times, decision-making abilities, and overall alertness, significantly increasing the risk of accidents.

To combat this issue, regulations like the Hours of Service (HOS) mandate specific rest breaks and maximum driving hours for truck drivers. Employers must also prioritize schedules that allow drivers to get adequate sleep and rest. Unfortunately, many crashes are a result of truck drivers failing to adhere to HOS regulations.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a pervasive problem in the trucking industry as well. Drivers may use cell phones and GPS devices or engage in other distracting activities while operating their trucks. These distractions divert their attention away from the road, leading to accidents.


Speeding is a significant contributor to truck accidents. Trucks, due to their size and weight, require longer distances to stop, and high speeds reduce their ability to react to sudden obstacles or changes in traffic conditions. Speeding can lead to catastrophic collisions, especially when coupled with other factors like weather or road conditions.

It is not uncommon for a truck driver to be put under pressure by the trucking company they work for to meet almost impossible schedules. This often results in speeding truck accidents.

Impaired Driving

Impaired driving, usually involving alcohol or drugs, is a significant factor in truck accidents. Operating a commercial vehicle under the influence is not only illegal but also extremely dangerous. Comprehensive substance abuse prevention programs, random testing, and strict penalties for offenders are crucial in tackling this issue. When trucking companies fail to regularly test their drivers, they are ultimately responsible for allowing impaired drivers behind the wheel.

Inadequate Training

Insufficient training and experience among truck drivers can lead to accidents. Maneuvering large vehicles on the road requires specialized skills and knowledge. Trucking companies must invest in proper training programs and ensure that drivers are adequately prepared to handle their trucks safely.

Poor Vehicle Maintenance

Neglected maintenance of trucks can also result in accidents. Mechanical failures such as brake malfunctions, tire blowouts, or steering problems can lead to loss of control and collisions. Regular inspections, maintenance, and adherence to safety regulations are crucial in preventing accidents caused by vehicle-related issues.

Overloaded or Improperly Loaded Cargo

Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo can cause accidents by shifting the truck’s weight, affecting stability, and impairing handling. Trucking companies must adhere to weight limits and ensure proper cargo distribution to maintain safe driving conditions.

Have You Been Injured?

Truck accidents have far-reaching consequences, affecting not only the drivers but also other road users and their families. If you or a family member have been involved in a commercial truck accident, contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer. We work diligently to get you the financial compensation you deserve, like the $225,000 personal injury settlement we obtained for one client who was injured on an interstate highway when a tractor-trailer driver swerved to the right to avoid rear-ending other vehicles.