Trucking Accidents: 3 Common Causes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reported that 2021 marked a 16-year high in traffic deaths. When it came to big trucks, in particular, there was a 13% increase compared to 2020.

When involved in an accident, large vehicles such as trucks can cause significant damage because of their sheer size and weight compared to a standard-sized car. 

When you think of a trucking accident, odds are you picture an 18-wheeler. 

Did you know the average 18-wheeler weighs 35,000 pounds empty and 80,000 pounds loaded?

But, there are other vehicles that are commonly involved in trucking accidents and they are:

  • Cement trucks
  • Delivery trucks
  • Dump trucks
  • Flatbed trucks
  • Garbage trucks
  • Tow trucks
  • Tankers

No matter the type of truck involved in the accident, as an award-winning Tampa personal injury lawyer, our team at Cappy Law is here to serve and fight for you. 

And, while the causes of trucking accidents are plentiful, there are common reasons these oftentimes catastrophic instances occur. 

Three Common Causes of Trucking Accidents

Distracted and reckless driving

No matter the type of vehicle, anyone who’s behind the wheel can fall victim to the temptation of looking at their phones, scrolling through the radio, or simply spacing out. Truck drivers are no different and this lapse in attention while driving can cause serious accidents. 

In addition to distracted driving, reckless driving is also a primary cause of trucking accidents. Tailgating, driving over the speed limit, ignoring traffic signals, and weaving in and out of lanes are all examples of reckless driving behaviors that can lead to serious injuries if an accident is to occur.


Truck drivers work long hours and anyone who’s ever been on a road trip and behind the wheel knows how difficult it can be to stay awake. Pair the battle to keep your eyes open with the need to meet a deadline, and you oftentimes have a recipe for disaster. 

The NHTSA also estimated that fatigue contributes to 40% of all heavy truck crashes. And, a study from the National Transportation Safety Board also found that truck driver fatigue was a leading factor in more than half (52%) of 107 heavy truck crashes. In fact, the driver admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel in 18% of those crashes. 

Although there are laws that require truck drivers to clock in a certain amount of rest, there are drivers who ignore these laws and push through. Fatigue can lead to lapses in judgment.

Lack of vehicle maintenance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that brake problems contribute to the largest number of crashes in trucks. Other faulty vehicle maintenance, including worn tires, can lead to accidents as well. That’s because worn tires cause blowouts which can cause the driver to lose control of the truck. Maintaining proper vehicle maintenance can deter trucking accidents from happening. 

Additionally, cargo that’s not properly loaded can lead to accidents when the contents of the truck fall into the roadway or the entire truck tips over because of poor weight distribution. 

Have you or someone you know been involved in a trucking accident? If so, contact us today and book your free case evaluation.