What Are The Most Common Causes Of Truck Accidents In Tennessee?

The last thing anybody should have to worry about when they get behind the wheel of their vehicle is that they will be involved in an accident with a large commercial truck. However, these incidents do occur, and they can lead to devastating injuries. According to data provided by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, there were 128 total fatalities that resulted from semi-truck accidents across the state, with thousands of more people sustaining injuries. If you were in a truck accident in Tennessee, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Nashville truck accident lawyers.

Leading causes of truck accidents in Tennessee

Because tractor-trailer accidents in Tennessee can be so devastating for those on the roadway, we want to look at some of the most common causes of these incidents.

  • Driver error. All truck drivers should have their commercial driver’s license and be properly trained to operate their vehicles. However, there are often times when a large truck accident is caused by the driver of the truck. This can include the truck driver:
    • operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
    • driving while distracted by text messaging, using social media, checking emails, browsing the Internet, and more
    • failing to obey traffic laws, including speeding, failing to yield the right of way, and more
    • operating while fatigued
    • hitting vehicles that are in the trucks blind spot
  • Mechanical failures. Trucking companies and independent truck owners are required to maintain their vehicles. The responsibility for maintenance of a large semi-truck is a team effort, including the truck drivers, supervisors, truck agencies, mechanics, and more. If a semi-truck is not properly maintained, various parts of the vehicle could fail, including:
    • tires or wheels
    • brakes
    • steering components
    • transmission
    • gear shifter
    • engine
    • suspension
    • and more
  • Overloaded truck. It is not uncommon for truck drivers or trucking companies to attempt to overload a truck with cargo or to load the vehicle improperly. Each vehicle on the roadway has a maximum weight capacity, and truck weight limits are strictly regulated by states. An overloaded or improperly loaded truck can lead to serious accidents on Tennessee roadways.
  • Defective truck parts. There are times when the mechanical failure of a truck is not the fault of the truck driver or the trucking company. Rather, a semi-truck part could be faulty before it even gets to the truck. Truck parts can be faulty in various ways, including flawed designs or manufacturing errors. In these cases, the company or manufacturer responsible for the defective part could be held liable.
  • Weather conditions. Poor weather conditions make driving a precarious situation for everybody on the roadway, including truck drivers. Slippery or icy roads, heavy rains, and debris on the roadway can all contribute to a tractor-trailer crash.

Who can be held liable for a truck accident?

There could be various liable parties in the event a collision occurs between a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle. The first place to look will be at the truck driver and whether they contributed to the incident in any way. While the driver may be responsible for the crash, they may not be the only party that can be held liable. In most situations, a trucking company can be held liable for the negligent actions of their driver, so long as the driver was operating within the scope of their work duty when the incident occurs.

However, it is important to point out that many truck drivers are independent owner/operators and do not work for the companies that they are delivering cargo for. In these cases, the truck driver may be the sole party liable.

Regardless of who is liable in these incidents, every commercial truck is required to operate with a certain amount of insurance that should be available to cover truck accident victims’ expenses. Contact our Nashville personal injury attorneys if you have additional questions.