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Common Causes of Idaho Trucking Accidents

A recent report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) cites driver fatigue as the main cause of a 2018 trucking accident in Boise that resulted in multiple fatalities. During a traffic slowdown in a construction zone on I-84, a semitrailer crashed into the rear of Jeep Wrangler, propelling it into the vehicle ahead. The crash killed the truck driver and the three occupants of the Jeep, all Air Force servicemen.

According to the NTSB, the accident resulted principally from the truck driver’s “failure to respond to the slow-moving traffic queue ahead, most likely due to performance [reduction] associated with fatigue.” The semitrailer had weaved in and out of traffic lanes 20 times in 17 minutes before the crash. The report also cited insufficient traffic control and a lack of proper oversight by the Idaho Transportation Department as factors that contributed to the accident.

As this incident illustrates, driver fatigue can have deadly consequences, particularly when large commercial vehicles are involved. Demanding delivery schedules may compel long-haulers to exceed the number of hours they can safely drive per day, which in turn may diminish their alertness on the road.

However, driver fatigue is only one of many causes of trucking accidents in Idaho. Others include:

  • Distracted driving — Texting or performing other actions like fiddling with the radio or eating can take a truck driver’s eyes off the road for several seconds, enough time for the truck to travel the length of a football field.
  • Lack of training or experience — Drivers without proper training or adequate experience are more likely to get into accidents, particularly during poor weather conditions or in emergency situations.
  • Driving under the influence —Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are more likely to make errors in judgment that lead to accidents. Unfortunately, the use of amphetamines and other stimulants among truck drivers is not uncommon.
  • Overloading — When commercial trucks are loaded with too much cargo, the excess weight can cause tire blowouts, rollovers and other accidents.
  • Road conditions and weather — Unpaved roads, potholes and narrow lanes can make it challenging to operate a heavy truck. Inclement weather, such as heavy rain or snow, can also make driving a truck especially difficult.

When large, heavy commercial trucks get into accidents, it is usually the occupants of other, smaller vehicles involved who suffer the most serious injuries.

If you have been hurt in an Idaho trucking accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering. Call Morgan Law Firm at 208-999-1717 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation. For your convenience, we have offices in Boise, Meridian and Middleton.

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