The Georgia Department of Public Health reported motor vehicle wrecks were the second top cause of death in the state in 2020. A portion of these incidents involved commercial vehicles.
Commercial vehicle accidents can be intricate events, often involving multiple factors and parties that contribute to the collision. While the focus is not solely on assigning blame, grasping who typically bears fault in these accidents is important for insurance claims, legal proceedings and the enhancement of road safety.
Commercial vehicle drivers
Accidents involving commercial vehicles, such as trucks and delivery vans, can be the fault of the commercial vehicle drivers. Extended hours behind the wheel may result in driver fatigue, which significantly increases the risk of accidents. Distracted driving, including texting or the use of in-cab devices, diverts a driver’s attention from the road. Aggressive behaviors, such as speeding or tailgating, elevate the accident risk.
Responsibility for accidents involving commercial vehicles can also fall on other drivers sharing the road. Reckless lane changes, failure to yield and impaired driving are common reasons. When drivers of passenger vehicles engage in risky behaviors, it can result in accidents with commercial vehicles.
Vehicle maintenance issues
Fault in commercial vehicle accidents can also be because of maintenance-related problems. If a commercial vehicle experiences brake failures, tire blowouts or other mechanical issues due to inadequate maintenance, the company responsible for vehicle upkeep may be at fault.
Loading and cargo issues
Accidents often occur due to improper loading and cargo distribution. If cargo shifts during transit, it can destabilize the vehicle, contributing to accidents. Overloaded or improperly loaded vehicles can be challenging to control, potentially leading to collisions.
Weather and road conditions
Weather-related factors, such as rain, snow or ice, can play a role in commercial vehicle accidents. Drivers must adapt their driving to accommodate adverse weather conditions. Poorly maintained roads, including potholes or inadequate signage, can also contribute to accidents.
When companies hire drivers, they can be responsible in certain situations. If they do not hire carefully or train drivers well, accidents can happen. Employers might also set schedules that push drivers to go too fast or drive without proper rest periods.
Figuring out who is at fault in these accidents is a complicated process because they involve many factors. It usually requires a detailed investigation with statements from witnesses, recreating the accident and inspecting the vehicles. Knowing what could cause these accidents is important to stop them from happening again.