The Most Common FMCSA Violations Causing Trucking Accidents in South Carolina
Commercial trucks and 18-wheelers transport virtually everything— from livestock to waste materials, to food, manufacturing parts, and just about everything in between, so it’s no wonder these vehicles are such a common sight on South Carolina roads.
Generally weighing nearly twenty times more than the average vehicle, trucks pose an immense threat to any vehicle caught in their crosshairs. Trucking accidents reap profound and devastating effects on passenger vehicles during accidents, with 10% of all motor vehicle accidents resulting from trucks in 2020 alone.
What Is the FMCSA?
Because of the weight discrepancy between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles, any excess weight can contribute to a higher risk of injury or death. Thus, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was formed to ensure roadways are as safe as possible. The rules of FMCSA were established to protect passengers and hold trucking companies responsible for safety violations such as:
- Failure to perform safety inspection or maintain a safe vehicle
- Failure to maintain safe brakes
- Failure to load trucks properly
- Failure to maintain safe working schedules for drivers
- Failure to hire qualified drivers
Truck Driver Errors
In a study conducted by the FMCSA on the causation of large trucking accidents, driver error was one of the leading causes of truck crashes. In nearly 87% of cases, driver error was the root cause of the accident.
Other categories the FMCSA used to measure driver error included:
- Non-performance- error caused by things like falling asleep behind the wheel or suffering from a physical impairment
- Recognition- this includes things like distracted driving or overlooking perilous driving conditions
- Decision- decision could mean something like driving too fast for conditions, tailgating another driving too closely, or miscalculating the speed of other drives
- Performance- performance is directly related to poor vehicle handling and includes things like overcompensating to correct an error, panicking, or demonstrating poor control of the vehicle.
- Other Causes- such as taking illegal drugs or using alcohol, making illegal maneuvers, and being unfamiliar with area roads
Truck Maintenance Errors
Another common reason for truck accidents in South Carolina includes maintenance or manufacturing issues with vehicle parts. This may consist of defects with the truck itself, such as faulty breaks or tires. Other problems, such as improperly loading and securing cargo, also fall under this category.
In many instances, regular maintenance and repair of trucking vehicles prevent unnecessary accidents from occurring. Thus, if a driver, trucking company, or repair company fails to adhere to routine vehicle maintenance, they may be held liable for an accident.
Occasionally, neither the truck driver nor the truck itself are to blame for the accident. Rather, the accident’s cause may be due to poor weather or road conditions. Slippery roads, debris, potholes, or poor road signs may lead to a trucking accident. If whoever was in charge of maintaining the streets was aware of the issue and failed to handle the situation promptly and timely, they may be responsible for the accident.
In South Carolina, driver error, truck maintenance, and poor road conditions are the leading causes of truck accidents. And although truck accidents occur less often than standard passenger vehicle accidents, when they happen, they often leave victims with severe or life-threatening injuries.
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident because of another person’s negligence, a skilled truck injury accident attorney will help you to investigate your accident, process the evidence, and build the most substantial claim they can for your case.