Washington Trucking Accident Lawyers

Where Wrongs Are Made Right

In a 2008 study of large truck crashes, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that, while large trucks accounted for only four percent of all registered vehicles in the United States, they represented eight percent of vehicles in fatal crashes, and two percent of vehicles involved in crashes causing injury.  These statistics corroborate the fact that the size of large commercial vehicles creates challenges for both truck drivers and all drivers who share the road with them. 

At the law firm of Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P., we know that an understanding of the safety issues pertaining to large trucks on the road can help both truck drivers and drivers of smaller vehicles remain safer as they share Washington's roads.

Truck Safety Issues

In general, truck accidents are caused by drivers, problems with vehicles, or environmental conditions.  The FMCSA divides driver-critical reasons into the following four categories:

  • Non-Performance: The driver fell asleep, was disabled by a heart attack or seizure, or was physically impaired for another reason.
  • Recognition: The driver was inattentive, was distracted by something inside or outside the vehicle, or failed to observe the situation adequately for some other reason.
  • Decision: For example, the driver was driving too fast for conditions, misjudged the speed of other vehicles, or followed other vehicles too closely.
  • Performance: For example, the driver panicked, overcompensated, or exercised poor directional control.

The FMCSA study also listed the top 10 associated vehicle and environmental factors that contributed to or caused truck accidents for large trucks and their drivers were:

  • Brake problems
  • Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
  • Prescription drug use
  • Traveling too fast for conditions
  • Unfamiliarity with roadway
  • Roadway problems
  • Required to stop before crash (traffic control device, crosswalk)
  • Over-the-counter drug use
  • Inadequate surveillance
  • Fatigue

Top Causes of Truck Accidents Involving Passenger Cars

Perhaps the simplest way to avoid trucking accidents is for other vehicles to keep a safe distance from trucks. Beyond this, drivers of passenger vehicles should be aware of the leading causes of trucking accidents involving passenger vehicles:

  • Speeding.  The FMCSA study showed speeding to be one of the leading causes of fatal accidents. In fact, speeding was a factor for 11 percent of trucks and 26 percent of passenger vehicles involved in such accidents.
  • Improper lane usage.  All too often, passenger vehicle drivers do not fully understand the nature and extent of blind spots for truck drivers. Cars are hard for truck drivers to see even when they travel directly alongside a truck—and invisible when they are right behind the truck. 
  • Driver exhaustion.  For most drivers, even an hour or two behind the wheel can have a hypnotic effect. While truck drivers are typically skilled at driving safely for longer periods, the FMCSA prohibits them from driving for more than 11 hours, following 10 consecutive off-duty hours.
  • Trust a Washington Law Firm with Over 50 Years of Experience

    Each Washington semi-truck accident lawyer at Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P. understands the devastating impact that a trucking accident can have on injured victims and their families. We are dedicated to easing the pain and suffering of the injured, through legal pursuit of compensation to help with the financial and emotional losses. If you or a loved one suffered injury in a trucking accident, contact Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P. for a free consultation to discuss your case and how we can help.

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