Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Missouri and How to Avoid Them

Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Missouri and How to Avoid Them

Truck accidents can have devastating consequences, often resulting in severe injuries and significant damage to your vehicle. Unfortunately, these accidents are all too common in Missouri, with more than 13,000 truck accidents reported yearly across Missouri and Kansas. Understanding the leading causes of truck accidents and implementing preventive measures can go a long way toward making our highways safer for everyone.

Leading Causes of Truck Accidents

There are several causes of truck accidents that the truck driver or the motorist may cause. The three most common causes of truck accidents include:

  1. Truck driver error. Like other motorists, truck drivers may get distracted behind the wheel by glancing at their cell phones or eating and drinking. In addition, driver inexperience, driving under the influence, drowsy driving, and speeding also commonly contribute to truck accidents.
  2. Vehicle issues. Mechanical problems such as brake failure and tire problems can cause truckers to lose control of their vehicle and collide with another driver. Poor cargo loading could also cause cargo to shift in the truck, causing it to sway. The most severe truck accident injuries are commonly from improperly secured cargo that flies off the truck and into oncoming traffic.

Why Are Semi-Truck Accidents So Dangerous?

Due to their size and weight, semi-truck accidents pose unique dangers. A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, making it significantly larger and heavier than passenger vehicles. Tractor trailers haul heavy loads, making maneuvering the vehicle substantially more difficult. When involved in accidents, its size and momentum can cause catastrophic damage and multiple injuries, potentially totaling your car and leaving you needing extensive medical care.

Tips to Avoid Truck Accidents

Avoiding truck accidents in Missouri or anywhere else involves being vigilant and practicing safe driving habits. Here are some tips:

  1. Maintain a safe distance. Keep a safe distance behind trucks, especially in adverse weather conditions or limited visibility. Trucks require more stopping distance than smaller vehicles.
  2. Avoid blind spots. Trucks have larger blind spots (also called “no-zones”) than smaller vehicles. Stay out of these blind spots to ensure the truck driver can see you. If you can’t see the truck’s mirrors, the driver likely can’t see you.
  3. Use turn signals. Always use your turn signals to indicate lane changes or turns. This gives truck drivers ample time to react and adjust their driving accordingly.
  4. Don’t cut off trucks. Cutting off a truck or suddenly changing lanes in front of one can be dangerous because trucks require a longer distance to come to a stop. Ensure there’s plenty of space before merging in front of a truck.
  5. Pass safely. When passing a truck, make sure you can see the entire cab in your rearview mirror before merging back into the lane. Don’t pass on the right unless necessary.
  6. Avoid distractions. Stay focused on the road and avoid distractions such as texting, eating, or adjusting the radio. Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents.
  7. Be patient. Understand that trucks may take longer to accelerate, decelerate, and maneuver. Be patient and avoid aggressive driving behaviors around trucks.
  8. Watch for turns. Be cautious when trucks make turns, especially right turns. Trucks often need to swing wide to make turns, so give them extra space and be prepared to yield if necessary.
  9. Obey speed limits. Follow posted speed limits and adjust your speed according to road and weather conditions. Speeding reduces your ability to react to sudden changes in traffic.
  10. Stay alert. Watch for signs of fatigue or impairment in other drivers, including truck drivers. If you notice erratic behavior, keep your distance and report it to authorities if necessary.

Following these tips and being aware of your surroundings can reduce the risk of being involved in a truck accident in Missouri or anywhere else.

We’re Your Advocates After a Truck Accident in Missouri

Truck accidents in Missouri can have severe consequences, but understanding their causes and implementing preventive measures can help reduce the risk. By addressing factors such as driver fatigue, distracted driving, and improper loading and maintenance, we can work towards safer highways for everyone.

If you’ve recently been in a truck accident, you deserve security and peace of mind as you recover. At The Goss Law Firm, our compassionate truck accident lawyers work tirelessly to help ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries, wrecked car, pain and suffering, and more.

Contact us today by submitting a form below or calling our office at 816-888-5000 for a free consultation.