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Common Causes of Truck Accident

Let Our Truck Accident Attorney in New Orleans Fight For You: Call (504) 265-1600

While there are several variables involved in any accident, many crashes are caused by the same root causes. Truck accidents in particular are often the result of driver error. Errors can take the form of improper maintenance, fatigue, drug use, or simple inattention. Weighing up to 40 tons, operating a truck negligently is what leads to severe, life-altering, and even fatal truck crashes.

If you’ve been in a crash with a commercial vehicle, call our New Orleans truck accident lawyer at (504) 265-1600 today. Learn more about what caused your accident below.

Driver Fatigue

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration believes that driver fatigue is a factor in 40% of truck collisions. What caused fatigue to become a widespread problem? The desire to remain competitive—trucking companies pushed tough deadlines onto drivers, encouraging them to drive through the night or in extended shifts. The result was a higher rate of truck drivers crashing their vehicles on the highway.

That’s why the Department of Transportation implemented federal trucking regulations that place limits on weekly driving hours for trucking companies in 2011. Large companies are already fighting these limits, but the use of logbooks and weigh station checks has kept truckers accountable to their daily rest requirements.

Improper Maintenance (Leading to Brake or Tire Failure)

The Department of Transportation requires truck drivers to do a daily maintenance check of their rig. Daily Vehicle Inspection Reports should include service brakes, steering, tires, wheels, headlights, and other basic functions. Should their truck fail the maintenance check, they need to seek repair from the trucking company before continuing to drive that vehicle. This report is required to be in writing, and drivers are accountable for ensuring that their reports are honest and thorough.

Drug Use

Related to fatigue, many truck drivers have chosen to solve their drowsiness problem with a worse solution: psychoactive drugs. Methamphetamine use has recently increased among truck drivers, particularly cross-country big-rig drivers who have demanding deadlines and not enough sleep.

While methamphetamine and cocaine both induce wakefulness, they also cause dizziness, hallucination, and changes in perception. For a professional driver, these are not acceptable side-effects. A recent report from Brazil (which included a survey of U.S. drivers) found that up to 30% of drivers used meth on a drive—and 50% admitted to drinking and driving. The likelihood that the driver who struck you was impaired is more likely than you think.


Ultimately, the point of knowing what caused your truck accident is knowing how you can hold your wrongdoers accountable. Truck companies have the power to conduct drug testing, assign more doable deadlines, and maintain their fleet—when they don’t, they should be held responsible for the results.

Call (504) 265-1600 or contact the Cossé Law Firm LLC online to take up your case. We offer free case evaluations to get you answers and help hold negligent trucking companies accountable.