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The Anatomy of an 18-Wheeler Accident: Understanding Causes and Contributing Factors

Driving on the highways, you can see big trucks ruling the roads. They show their economic importance by moving goods across the country and beyond. 

These big trucks are vital in our daily lives, but we must recognize the dangers they bring to other drivers on the road. 

Accidents involving large trucks can lead to severe injuries and fatalities. The size and weight of 18-wheelers can make them a potential big lunch on the highway. 

The collision danger is how much heavier and bigger a truck is than a car. If you have had a similar accident, you must seek legal advice from an 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer. They assist in the compensation and claims process.

The big 18-wheel trucks, called semi-trailer trucks, are often seen on highways nationwide. First, let’s have a look at how these trucks are built and what are their components.


Components of 18-wheeler Trucks 

Cab or Tractor

The forward section of the 18-wheeler is the cab, also called the tractor. This is the driver’s cabin. 

The driver drives, controls the vehicle, and rests during long trips. The cab comes with a sleep berth and dashboard interface. It has advanced communication equipment to keep the driver connected.

  • Engine

The engine is the core element of the 18-wheeler. It is found under the cab. These engines are meant for heavy work and can easily drag big payloads.

  • Chassis and Frame

The vehicle has a strong chassis that acts like the skeleton of an 18-wheeler. The chassis is made to spread weight evenly for a stable drive, letting the truck carry heavy loads.

  • Axles and Wheels

Eighteen-wheelers stand out because they have 18 wheels arranged on several axles. Wheels help the truck stay balanced by working in pairs. They support the weight of the truck and its cargo.


Why 18-Wheeler Accidents Can Be Fatal and Cause Severe Damage? 


The Anatomy of an 18-Wheeler Accident: Understanding Causes and Contributing Factors 

  • Size and Weight

The 18-wheelers are huge and heavy, making them a high risk for accidents on the road. 

Because they are much heavier than other cars, they take longer to stop. At high speeds, the strong energy makes it hard to brake suddenly or make quick moves to avoid dangers. 

An accident with a truck can badly damage other cars. Trucks are heavy, so crashes are powerful. Truck collisions pose a significant danger to drivers and passengers.

Further, size difference increases the chances of underride accidents. Smaller cars can get trapped under trailers in crashes. In this situation, people in the smaller car are at an even more dangerous risk of death. Unequal risks show that careful driving is needed near these large vehicles.

  • The Driver Has Limited Visibility

The tall cabs on 18-wheel trucks create big blind spots for drivers. These are areas around the truck that are hard to see. These blind spots, often known as “no zones,” are areas behind the trailer, next to the truck, and in front of the cab. 

Drivers in the spots where truck drivers have difficulty seeing might not be seen. This could cause accidents when the truck changes lanes, turns, or stops unexpectedly.

  • The driver has to put in a lot of effort to brake. 

The large trucks’ trouble with braking is a major worry in serious accidents. The truck is hard to drive due to its heavy weight and the longer stopping distance it requires. 

This calls for forward thinking and planning so the truck can navigate safely. Sudden obstacles, like traffic, can limit quick deceleration for drivers during trips.


Understanding Causes and Contributing Factors Behind 18-Wheeler Accidents 

The Driver Experiences Fatigue 

When drivers are exhausted, they can’t think clearly or control their movements well. This can lead to accidents and injuries on the road. They can readily cause accidents and injuries to other road users.

Driver fatigue can increase risks. They have slow reactions, leading to poor decisions and accidents. The authority rules mandate rest periods and driving hour limits to prevent fatigue.

  • Distracted Driving

Driving for long hours due to their job can make truck drivers more likely to get distracted on the road. One common distraction for drivers is using phones, GPS, or eating while driving. 

All things these can divert the driver’s attention from the road. Driving an 18-wheeler is challenging and requires continuous attention.


  • Over Speeding

Drivers may speed more due to tight deadlines and long distances to cover quickly. Driving faster increases accident risk due to delayed driver response to traffic changes. 

Educational programs stress obeying traffic rules and monitoring to prevent accidents. This can encourage safe driving habits.

  • Improper Loading and Cargo Issues

The level of danger is relatively high when the load is not balanced or properly secured. Imbalancing the load can make the truck unstable and lead to fatal accidents. 

Regular checks improve cargo distribution and onboard securement. Enforcing rules for loading cargo helps prevent accidents caused by improper cargo handling.

  • Inexperienced or Inadequately Trained Drivers

The particular driving of 18-wheeled trucks includes aspects that need to be unique. Inexperienced truck drivers may need more time to adapt, increasing accident rates. 

Comprehensive driver training and ongoing education are crucial for safe machine operation. This includes mentorship and industry best practices.

  • Drug or Alcohol Use 

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a real issue in the trucking industry. Undoubtedly, all these very often lead to road accidents. 

Substance abuse significantly impacts how well you think, move, and react. It’s a leading reason for accidents nationwide. Comprehensive drug and alcohol testing is crucial. Educational campaigns highlight the effects of drunk driving.



Things may get more complex if you or a loved one is in an accident with a big truck; the consequences go beyond just injuries. 

They involve dealing with courts, insurance claims, and legal steps for fair compensation. In difficult times, seeking assistance from experts is crucial.

The 18-wheeler accident experts at Mokaram Law understand these accidents well. They empathize with the victims and families affected. 

Our law firm has devoted lawyers with extensive experience in this field. They have the necessary skills to handle legal issues and protect your rights. Contact us today at (281) 609-9224 for a free consultation.


Past results do not guarantee future performance. The $1B amount reflects the NFL concussion MDL settlement not an individual claim.

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If There Was No Injury Then There Is No Claim to be Filed.

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We can't provide a valuation for the claim if the accident is reported as "at fault" or if there's no clear determination of fault.

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