Preventable causes of tractor-trailer accidents in Kentucky

While autos, SUVs and light-duty trucks account for most road accidents, catastrophic accident injuries result when commercial trucks are involved. A fully loaded truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, two auto drivers died when a flatbed trailer detached from a commercial 18-wheeler and struck two Lexington passenger vehicles traveling on Georgetown Road. The truck driver was not injured.

Police officers at the scene could not determine whether the trailer separated before or after the crash. A news update revealed that the trailer separated from the 18-wheeler first and then slammed into two vehicles. A truck-safety group questioned whether the kingpin used to attach the trailer was a Chinese-made brand known to be faulty and dangerous.  

Why are semitrucks involved in accidents?

Like any piece of equipment, semitrucks are prone to parts failure accidents. In addition, truck drivers encounter severe road conditions, errors in judgment made by other motorists and the ever-present danger of fatigue. Reasons for catastrophic crashes involving semitrucks can include the following:

  • Inattentive drivers texting or using cellphones
  • Improperly distributing cargo loads or exceeding weight allowances
  • Driver impairment from fatigue or illegal substance use
  • Improperly trained or inexperienced drivers
  • Driver exceeding the speed limit or ignoring posted road signs
  • Tailgating or not allowing room to stop when behind passenger vehicles
  • Owner maintenance negligence and failure to provide safe equipment
  • Driver errors such as failing to check blind spots, or making wide-swing turns
  • Inability to stop due to defective brakes

How does the nation rank in fatal semitruck accidents?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported semitruck fatalities accounted for the second highest annual increase of all accident types.

Any crash in which a large trailer-truck is involved has a high probability of causing catastrophic, severe injuries or death to occupants of smaller vehicles. Many of these accidents are preventable. Companies, owners and owner-operators must be accountable for any failure of care that caused or contributed to injury or death from tractor-trailer accidents in Kentucky.

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