Any motor vehicle accident can be a life-altering event. But when a tractor-trailer is involved, the damage can be even more severe than with average-sized passenger vehicles. It can be scary to think that truck accidents are common – but by understanding the conditions that cause truck accidents, one can take necessary precautions and apply tips for staying safe on the road.

The larger the vehicle, the more difficult it can be to maintain control of that vehicle on wet or slippery pavement. Weather conditions are a leading cause of all car accidents. In the event of truck accidents specifically, inclement weather conditions can cause trucks to swerve and lose control on the road. Snow is a leading case of truck accidents. Truck driving is not a seasonal career; truck drivers work year-round to deliver goods across the nation and often do so within tight deadlines. In heavy snow or sleet, many trucks are often still obligated to continue their routes, increasing the likelihood of an accident occurring.

When ice forms on asphalt, “black ice” is difficult to see – especially at night. Unsuspecting truck drivers may find themselves driving too fast over black ice, causing the vehicle to swerve uncontrollably.

Fog is an often overlooked form of inclement weather that contributes to truck accidents every year. When fog is prevalent, it can be challenging to see even a foot in front of the steering wheel. Even the strongest, brightest of headlights are no match for thick fog hanging low in the air. Fog is a leading cause of head-on collisions, as it can be near impossible to see lines on the road and, therefore, oncoming traffic.

A torrential downpour is also a significant contributor to truck accidents that occur on the road today. Heavy rain reduces the ability for tires to gain traction on wet asphalt and can cause a truck to hydroplane or skid when attempting to brake. Heavy rain also reduces visibility despite the use of windshield wipers and bright headlights.

It Isn’t as Simple as Just Bad Weather

Apart from inclement weather, distracted or drowsy driving are other prevalent causes of truck accidents in the US. Many truck drivers are expected to work long and draining hours and are on a tight deadline to meet a certain mileage requirement every day. This, unfortunately, can cause drivers to fall asleep behind the wheel or to suffer delayed reaction time due to over-tiredness. Distracted driving is another leading cause of motor vehicle accidents. A truck drivers’ office is behind the wheel; they are just as likely to take small breaks and check their phone like anyone else at work would. When a driver uses their cell phone, 63 percent of their energy is focused on their phone, and taken away from the road ahead.

It’s crucial to understand the conditions that can possibly lead to a truck accident – it’s always smart to take proactive measures when possible. If you or a loved one have been in an accident involving a tractor-trailer or other commercial truck, contact the qualified legal our team of Costa Mesa personal injury lawyers to discuss your case today.