Drivers in California should know that truckers are not always to blame for truck accidents. In the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, which involved some 963 truck crash cases, truckers were to blame for 44% of two-vehicle crashes. The LTCCS was released in 2007 and is considered a definitive study of the common factors in truck crashes.

This study, conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over a 33-month period, has pinpointed three errors that truckers frequently made that led them to cause a crash. They are speeding, driving with bad brakes and the negligent driving that comes with failing to plan routes in advance.

Braking problems were the “critical reason” for 29% of those two-vehicle crashes where truckers were to blame. Speeding came in second (23%) and unfamiliarity with roadways third (22%). Of the three, though, speeding made it the most likely for a trucker to be assigned the critical reason in a crash (670%).

Brake problems made it 170% likelier than when a truck driver has properly adjusted brakes. Unfamiliarity made it 100% likelier than when a trucker actually plans all routes and turns ahead of time and knows what distances to travel.

In those cases where truckers are to blame for truck accidents, injury victims might be able to file a claim against the trucking company or another responsible party. There are cases where truckers may crash because of a defective part, in which case one may file against the parts manufacturer. Whatever the nature of the case, victims might consider seeing a lawyer before anything else. A lawyer may assist with the gathering of proof against the defendant and then proceed to negotiations. If a settlement cannot be achieved, the lawyer might litigate.