Fifty-five people died in crashes with semis and heavy trucks in New Mexico in 2020. Plus, 767 people were hurt in crashes with large trucks. Many of their families still struggle to pay the bills after losing the head of their household. When a truck driver causes a crash, families of those who died or got hurt deserve help. A good truck accident attorney knows the common causes of truck accidents and uses what they know to help families.
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Causes of Truck Accidents in New Mexico
According to a study done by the University of New Mexico and the New Mexico Department of Transportation, the biggest cause of truck accidents in New Mexico is due to drivers not watching the road. Instead, they are texting, talking, eating, or falling asleep.
- A driver not watching the road led to 20% of all semi and heavy truck crashes.
- 24% of deadly crashes are caused by drivers not watching the road.
Other common causes of deadly crashes in New Mexico are:
- 11% are caused by drinking and driving.
- 10% are caused by the driver crossing the centerline.
- 9% are caused by the driver speeding.
What these numbers mean is that, in a large proportion of accidents, drivers themselves are a direct and primary cause of the accident. In such a case the driver, and the company that employs them, can be on the hook to pay damages if there is evidence of negligence or disregard for the law.
Outside of the bad driving, snow, heavy rain, hail, and dust storms also are common causes of truck accidents in New Mexico. That is because semi and heavy trucks need a lot of space to stop. When they start sliding on snowy and wet roads, they don’t have enough room to stop.
For Comparison: What Causes Truck Crashes Across the U.S.
The U.S. keeps track of what causes truck accidents by looking at what the driver did before the crash. Most deadly crashes were after something got in the driver’s way.
- In 63% of cases, it appears the trucker was driving safely. They crashed after a car, person, animal, or object got in their lane.
- In almost one-third of cases, the driver broke safety rules. Most were speeding. Others were driving while they were too tired, drinking, or using drugs.
- Most truck drivers are not tested for drugs after a fatal crash. Of those that were tested in 2020, 6% tested positive for at least one drug in their body.
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Other Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Too Much Time on the Road
The government knows tired drivers crash more, so truck drivers must follow hours-of-service regulations. These rules stipulate how long a trucker can drive, rest, and sleep in one stretch.
Some people question how well the hours-of-service regulations work. Drivers can be on the road for as long as 11 hours in a row. Safety experts have found that truck drivers who break the hours-of-service rules are more likely to cause a crash.
Breakdowns, blowouts, and loose bolts all cause truck accidents. Almost 55% of large trucks in crashes that hurt people had at least one mechanical problem. Almost 30% of the trucks had a problem so serious it needed to be taken out-of-service right away. Faulty brakes and lighting are the most common mechanical violations.
Blind Spots, Stopping, and Underrides
Drivers of large trucks have to avoid blind spots. They also need to know how long it takes to stop the truck. When they don’t, crashes happen. In some cases, a car ends up under the truck. This is called an underride accident. Sometimes, the driver of the car caused the underride accident. When a truck driver caused it, they might be liable for damages.
Truck Accident Attorneys Find the Causes of Truck Accidents
If you or a family member were hurt in a truck crash, you have a right to be paid for your expenses and suffering. You have a good shot at that with a truck accident attorney on your side. The Kane Personal Injury team will take care of everything. This includes being your representative talking to insurance adjusters and attorneys. If the case goes to court, we want to convince a jury you have a right to the most amount of money allowed by law. Contact Kane Personal Injury today online or by phone at 575-449-3601 to arrange a free consultation.
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