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Common Causes of Utah Trucking Accidents

The intersection of U.S. 89 and State Road 30 in Garden City is the site of frequent truck accidents, according to the Utah Highway Patrol. In the most recent, on March 3, 2020, a semi-truck driver lost control of his brakes, put the truck in neutral and ran through the intersection at speeds between 25 and 30 mph before coming to a stop. Fortunately, no injuries were reported, but the results could have been disastrous.

Authorities cited the driver’s inexperience, which is in fact one of the most common causes of trucking accidents in our state. Without adequate training and sufficient time behind the wheel, a driver may not know how to operate a sophisticated commercial vehicle safely or know what measures to take in an emergency — such as a brake failure. In the latest accident, an experienced driver would have known that shifting to a lower gear would have slowed the truck down.

Utah trucking accidents also result frequently from:

  • Poor maintenance — Truck owners or operators are required to inspect every truck before it gets on the road. When proper maintenance is neglected, the results can include brake failure, tire blowouts, burned out lights and other dangerous conditions.
  • Speeding — The pressure to meet delivery deadlines may compel a truck driver to exceed the speed limit or to go faster than is appropriate for an oversized vehicle or for current road conditions. At high speeds, drivers may not be able to brake or otherwise avoid a collision.
  • Impairment — Truck accidents often occur because a driver is intoxicated or impaired by drugs. A study from the American Addiction Centers found that as many as 50 percent of truck drivers drink and as many as 30 percent take amphetamines on the job.
  • Distracted drivers — Use of cellphones for text messages and other communications can take a driver’s eyes off the road for several seconds, enough time for the truck to travel the length of a football field. Other common forms of distraction on the road include fiddling with the radio, eating and daydreaming.
  • Overloaded cargo — Overloaded trucks are more difficult to maneuver and stop and may be prone to tipping over and losing their cargo on the road.

Due to their size and weight, trucks get into accidents that are more likely to result in serious or even fatal injuries to occupants of other vehicles involved. Liability for an accident may be shared among several parties, including the truck’s owner, the shipper or loader of cargo and the maintenance provider.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a Utah trucking accident, we encourage you to get in touch with Morgan Law Firm. Our dedicated legal team is ready to serve you at our Utah office locations in Ogden or Lehi. To schedule a free consultation, call 208-999-1717 or contact us online.

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