Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Phoenix, AZ

A fully loaded semi or tractor-trailer can weigh up to 30 times more than a standard-size vehicle, so accidents involving them are usually catastrophic. When a car and a large truck collide, it is usually those in the standard-size vehicle that suffer the most. And the main cause of truck accidents may surprise you.

Truck accident victims may sustain severe injuries that take months to heal from or that alter their lives forever. If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, you have the right to pursue compensation from the truck driver, trucking company, or anyone else who caused your injuries. A personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim and negotiate a fair settlement.

At Phillips Law Group, we have years of experience in helping truck accident victims recover compensation for their injuries. To find out how we can assist you, schedule a free, no-obligation case review with a member of our legal team today.

The Number One Cause of Truck Accidents

Truckers, like all drivers, have a responsibility to look out for the safety of those they share the road with. Drivers of semis, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers have an even greater duty to operate their vehicles in a safe manner because of their potential to cause severe or fatal accidents.

Unfortunately, some drivers do not take this duty of care seriously. They take risks while behind the wheel and practice unsafe driving behaviors. In fact, the number one cause of truck accidents on US roadways is driver error.

Truck driver errors can take a variety of forms. Common driver errors that are such a main cause of truck accidents include the following:

Distracted driving

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of all types of motor vehicle collisions. Driving distractions are anything that takes a person’s focus off of the task of driving.

There are three main types of driver distraction:

Visual distractions: This type of distraction is anything that takes your eyes off the road
Manual distractions: Anything that causes you to take your hands off of the wheel is a manual distraction
Cognitive distractions: This type of distraction occurs when your mind is not focused on driving
Common truck driver distractions include:

Reading the GPS
Adjusting the stereo
Talking on the phone
Eating or drinking


Each state carefully decides what speed limit to post on its highways. Unfortunately, some truck drivers view posted speed limits as suggestions, not laws. A truck driver may drive above the posted speed limit trying to make it home early or meet delivery deadlines set by the trucking company.

Consider the following reasons why it is so dangerous when truck drivers speed:

Longer to stop: Trucks take much longer to slow down than standard-size vehicles. Thus, when truck drivers are speeding, they have less time to stop or slow down when a dangerous situation arises.
Loss of control: The faster a truck is traveling, the more difficult it is to control. Sharp turns and wet roads may cause a driver to lose control and roll his or her vehicle.
Load shift: The faster a truck is going, the more likely that its load will shift in transport if the driver must brake or swerve suddenly. This increases the risk of a rollover or jackknife accident.
Inclement weather: Rain, snow, and sleet can result in slippery road conditions that could cause truck drivers to lose traction and control of their rigs. Even if a trucker is driving the posted speed limit, he or she is “speeding” if overdriving weather and road conditions.
Risk of serious injuries: The massive size and weight of a semi or tractor-trailer already mean a greater risk of serious injuries occurring in the event of an accident. The risk of severe injuries or fatalities increases further the faster the truck is traveling.

Drowsy driving

Professional truck drivers often work long hours, sometimes starting early in the morning and working until late at night. Sleep deprivation and the lack of a regular sleep schedule leave drivers overly fatigued while behind the wheel.

Drowsiness or fatigue can affect a driver’s coordination, concentration, reaction time, and judgment. In some situations, truck drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel, causing severe accidents and injuries.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established rules regarding how long a trucker can drive without breaks or rest. Sadly, truck drivers and the companies they work for often put profits ahead of safety and ignore these rules far too often.

Driving under the influence

In most states, it is illegal for drivers to operate a vehicle if their blood alcohol level (BAC) is higher than .08 percent. However, for commercial truck drivers, that level is .04 percent.

There are several reasons why the BAC for commercial truck drivers is lower than the BAC requirements for standard drivers:

Commercial drivers often operate vehicles much larger than passenger vehicles, increasing the risk of severe injuries occurring in the event of an accident
Commercial drivers, such as bus and taxi drivers, may transport numerous passengers, making them responsible not just for their own safety but that of others as well
Commercial drivers may transport hazardous substances, such as gasoline and toxic chemicals, posing an additional health risk if an accident were to occur
The FMCSA also mandates that commercial drivers do not operate their vehicles within 4 hours of consuming alcohol. Truck drivers caught driving with a BAC of over .04 percent can face criminal charges and the suspension or revocation of their commercial driver’s license.

Improper lane changes

Another dangerous truck driver error is improper lane changes. Due to the large size of the vehicles they are operating, truck drivers need to take extra caution before changing lanes or merging.

Blind spots can make lane changes especially dangerous. Semis and 18-wheelers have blind spots on the sides of the trailer, in front of the cab, and behind the trailer. In addition, because of a tractor-trailer’s size and weight, these immense vehicles need more time to stop. This means that if the truck driver realizes there is a problem while changing lanes, it can be more difficult to stop or slow down.

Lane-changing mistakes that have resulted in devastating accidents include:

Failing to check blind spots
Speeding while merging into other lanes of traffic
Weaving in between lanes
Failing to signal
Failing to yield the right-of-way
Cutting off other drivers
Changing lanes while in an intersection

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Have you or someone you love been severely injured in a truck accident? If so, the personal injury lawyers at Phillips Law Group are here to help.

We will sit down with you and carefully listen as you tell us how the accident occurred and how it has impacted your life. Our legal team will then discuss your legal options with you.

Many truck accident victims are concerned about the stress and expense of having to go to court, but let us put your mind at ease.

First, the majority of truck accident cases are handled out of court during settlement negotiations with the insurance company. Second, our personal injury lawyers work on contingency. You do not owe us anything until we recover compensation for you.

Large commercial vehicles traveling across the country often find themselves on Arizona roads and highways. Additionally, there are many carriers that travel intrastate, transporting cargo throughout the state. The dangers that large trucks present to drivers of much smaller cars are unique. Given the large number of trucks on the roadways, truck accidents are a major cause for concern in Phoenix.

There are several reasons that a truck accident may occur. After an accident has happened, there is often substantial property damage in addition to serious injuries occurred by almost everyone involved in the crash.

Truck drivers and the drivers of smaller cars need to be aware of the special circumstances presented by trucks on the road. Particularly on major highways where vehicles are traveling at high speeds, a seemingly insignificant error can result in catastrophic injuries and damages.

The drivers of passenger vehicles can be just as responsible for causing a truck accident as the truck driver. If you are involved in an Arizona truck accident, it is critical that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. In Arizona, there is a strict statute of limitation for filing an injury claim, and failing to do so within a reasonable amount of time can significantly affect your ability to recover fair compensation for your losses.

To begin exploring your legal options, contact our truck accident attorneys today by completing the Free Case Review form to the right.

Causes of Truck Accidents Truck Driver Liability

Truck accidents are often caused by the negligent actions of truckers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a report in 2007 which showed the top causes of commercial vehicle wrecks. The report was titled The Large Causation Study and was the first of its kind to examine all accident causes that resulted in large truck crashes.

The Large Causation Study found the following to be the top causes of large truck accidents:

Drug use, including illicit, prescription and over-the-counter medications
Drivers who are unfamiliar with the roads they are traveling on
Failure to check blind spots or No-Zones
Failure to use signals when turning or changing lanes, or some other illegal driving maneuvers
Distracted drivers
Truckers who underestimated the level of evasive action necessary to avoid a crash
Aggressive and reckless driving
It is not uncommon for a truck accident to be caused by incorrectly secured cargo, overloaded trucks, over-sized vehicles, equipment failure and defects, and truck driver fatigue, as well.

If you were involved in a truck accident that was caused through the actions of a truck driver, we urge you to contact us today to see how our attorneys may be able to help you pursue compensation for your losses. Simply complete the Free Case Review form on this page to get started.

Causes of Truck Accidents Passenger Vehicle Driver Liability

A serious truck accident can also be caused by the driver of a passenger vehicle. Arizona motorists are often unaware of the limitations that commercial trucks have in regards to visibility, braking and acceleration. Their lack of knowledge is often a major contributing factor to an accident. Motorists can cause a Phoenix truck accident through the following actions:

Being blown out of position when passing a large truck due to wind gusts and cross-winds
Maneuvering a car to the right of a truck while it is attempting to make a right turn
Making a left turn at an intersection in front of an approaching truck without enough acceleration
Pulling into traffic in front of a large truck with insufficient speed
Driving between two large trucks for an extended period of time
Driving in a trucks blind spots
Changing lanes without enough room
Failing to move a disabled vehicle onto a highways shoulder
After being involved in an Arizona truck accident, it is important to consult with a lawyer who is well-versed in commercial vehicle litigation, regardless of whether the wreck was caused through truck driver or passenger vehicle motorist negligence. Contact our truck accident attorneys today by completing the Free Case Review form to the right to see how we may be able to help you with your claim.

Contact a Knowledgeable Attorney Today

At Phillips Law Group, our truck accident lawyers understand the complexities involved in commercial vehicle accident claims. These cases are often complex as a number of different people and entities may be responsible for the accident. Our staff has the skills and resources necessary to recreate the scene of the accident, which is important in determining fault. An injury victim must be able to prove that they were not responsible for the accident in order to recover fair compensation for their losses.

To make sure that all our clients are able to afford proper representation, our personal injury law firm operates on a contingency fee basis .This means that if you choose to hire our lawyers, there is never any cost to you until we are able to successfully obtain a favorable outcome for your claim, whether through a jury verdict or settlement. If we fail to do this, you do not owe us any fees.