Five Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Oklahoma
The commercial freight and trucking industry in Oklahoma plays an important role in the state’s economy. The Sooner State is a home for major national carriers as well as many smaller trucking companies. While we all need the important goods and services provided by commercial trucks in Oklahoma, the state’s busy commercial truck industry also increases traffic congestion and adds to accident numbers.
In one recent year in Oklahoma, there were 4,784 commercial truck accidents with 75 fatalities and over a thousand serious injuries. When a commercial truck and an average passenger car collide, the large, unwieldy commercial truck often causes catastrophic damage to the smaller vehicle and grave injuries to the motorists.
It’s not always possible to avoid all traffic accidents, but understanding the five most common causes of Oklahoma truck accidents can help drivers avoid them.
Distracted Driving in Truck Accidents in Oklahoma
Commercial truck drivers spend many hours on the road. While Oklahoma and other states don’t allow hands-on cell phone use in motor vehicles, many truck drivers use their phones for navigation, selecting podcasts and playlists, and other distracting functions that may take their attention away from the road. Distracted driving in Oklahoma City is a major cause of truck accidents. Distractions also come from eating while driving, grooming while driving, and other activities inside the truck cab.
Fatigued Driving and Oklahoma Truck Accidents
Despite the state and federal laws limiting the number of hours that commercial truck drivers can spend behind the wheel, drowsy or fatigued driving remains a predominant problem and a significant cause of truck accidents. Insufficient breaks, long hours on the road, and trucking companies that fail to enforce driving limits all contribute to serious accidents caused by drowsy drivers. Head-on car accident collisions in commercial truck accidents are often caused by a drowsy driver who nods off behind the wheel and veers out of their lane and into oncoming traffic.
Driving Under the Influence
Despite strict laws and consequences for operating a commercial truck while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, substance abuse among truck drivers remains a problem. Though post-accident alcohol testing reveals only about 2% of truck accidents are caused by drunk truck drivers, illicit drug use including stimulants and pain medications makes driving under the influence of substances a significant cause of catastrophic damages in Oklahoma truck accidents.
Failed Truck Parts or Inadequate Maintenance
Large commercial trucks depend on multiple mechanical and electrical systems to operate safely. When a defective truck part causes an accident, the manufacturer of the part may be liable for damages including serious injuries to the truck driver and motorists in other vehicles involved in the accident.
In some cases, the truck’s maintenance company may be the cause of an Oklahoma City commercial truck accident if they failed to properly maintain the truck and the result was an accident.
Poor Driver Training and/or Hiring Practices
When trucking companies cut corners on their driver hiring and training practices, inexperienced or under-trained drivers behind the wheels of commercial trucks may cause serious accidents. Some trucking companies protect their profits by failing to hire the most experienced drivers and allowing untrained or poorly trained drivers to operate dangerous commercial trucks.
When a commercial truck causes a devastating accident, it’s important to investigate the cause and determine liability so injury victims can recover compensation for damages. Please contact an Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer if you have been involved in a truck accident.