Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents in South Carolina

According to Fleet Owner, South Carolina ranks 11th in the nation for fatal commercial truck crashes, raising concerns about road safety while highlighting a need for stronger regulations and enforcement.

At Jordan Law Center in Greenville, South Carolina, our experienced Greenville truck accident lawyers are well-versed in the most common causes of truck accidents. We have helped hold the responsible parties accountable for people who sustained injuries, property damage or lost loved ones.

When Commercial Drivers Cause Truck Accidents

The consequences of truck accidents can be devastating. The sheer size and weight of commercial trucks put smaller vehicles and those riding in them at a disadvantage in the event of a wreck. Many people riding in vehicles struck by large trucks sustain serious injuries or fatalities.

Even if you or someone you love survives a crash with a semitrailer, the repercussions can be life-altering. Many people involved in commercial truck wrecks require extensive medical care and rehabilitation. Truck crashes can also lead to lost wages, financial hardships, and physical and emotional trauma.

When a truck driver’s negligence causes a truck accident and that accident leaves you with injuries or property damage, you may pursue a claim against the responsible driver or their employer. However, navigating a truck accident claim is not always easy, and there are certain steps and deadlines to which you must adhere.

Our truck accident attorneys can help you pinpoint the causes of your accident and determine what types of compensation to pursue in your claim.

What Driver Behaviors Cause Truck Accidents

Many common causes of semi-truck accidents stem from trucker behavior. When professional truck drivers fail to comply with industry regulations, they endanger themselves and everyone else on the roadway. Several behaviors are often seen behind truck accidents.


Fatigue is among the more common causes of truck accidents. Many truckers drive long hours and have demanding delivery schedules. Many also spend hours behind the wheel without taking adequate rest breaks.

When truckers experience fatigue, it can affect their driving ability and lead to delayed reaction times. They may also struggle to focus on the task at hand and may even briefly fall asleep behind the wheel, raising the risk of a crash.

Impairment or intoxication

Impairment and intoxication due to drugs, alcohol, or prescription medications are also frequent causes of semi-truck accidents. Different substances impact driving abilities in various ways, but the use of any mind-altering substance can diminish driving abilities and raise the chances of a wreck.

When truckers abuse alcohol on the job, it creates serious risks to road safety. Alcohol impairs reaction time, judgment, coordination, and cognitive abilities, all of which can increase the chances of a truck wreck. While drinking and driving always creates hazards, the risks are even more notable when truck drivers abuse alcohol, as the size and weight of the vehicles they drive exacerbate injury and fatality risks.

Illegal and prescription drug use are also common causes of truck accidents. The use of certain substances, like marijuana, can make truck drivers less attentive. Marijuana use can also impact coordination, judgment, and reaction time, all of which are necessary for safe driving.

Prescription drugs can also have notable impacts on driving ability, potentially affecting alertness, attention and decision-making abilities.


Speed is one of many common causes of truck accidents. When a trucker operates their vehicle at high speeds, it takes longer to stop, raising the risk of a rear-end collision. Speeding also compromises a trucker’s ability to react to road hazards.

When truck crashes involve speed, the chances of the people involved in them sustaining serious injuries or fatalities rise. A truck traveling at high speed exerts a greater force on anything it strikes, leading to more serious injuries or fatalities than crashes at lower speeds.

Inadequate training

Professional truckers must undergo extensive training to operate commercial vehicles safely. When the training they receive is insufficient, it compromises their ability to react to certain circumstances and avoid wrecks.

A lack of proper training creates two major problems for truckers. First, they may develop poor driving skills.

Driving a semi is much different than driving a traditional passenger vehicle, and it takes specialized knowledge to do it safely.

Second, truckers who do not receive adequate training may be unfamiliar with safety protocols, industry hours-of-service rules, and other regulations that seek to keep the trucking industry safe. Truck drivers may unknowingly violate trucking rules without proper training, threatening their own safety and that of others in the process.

What Vehicle Issues Are Common Causes of Truck Accidents

While trucker actions and behaviors are common causes of truck accidents, so are certain vehicle issues.

Unsecured loads

Unsecured loads are one of several vehicle-related causes of semi-truck accidents. Unsecured cargo has the potential to shift or fall during transit, which can affect the truck’s stability and raise the odds of a crash. Unsecured loads can also lead to flying debris, which poses a notable threat to everyone traveling near the commercial truck.

Unsecured cargo can also increase crash risks by obstructing the trucker’s visibility and ability to react to changing road conditions. Improperly secured loads can also block road signs and traffic signals, further elevating the chances of a wreck.

Lack of underride guards

A lack of underride guards also raises the chances of a truck accident having a devastating outcome. Underride crashes occur when a smaller vehicle lodges itself under a truck’s trailer, increasing the chances of head and neck injuries.

Underride guards can help prevent underride crashes, but regulations vary regarding what vehicles must have them.

While larger tractor-trailers typically have these important safety features, smaller commercial vehicles may not.

What To Do When You Need a Hand

When you need help determining whether one or more common causes of truck accidents contributed to your crash, our team at Jordan Law Center in Greenville can help. Call 864-523-8722 or get in touch online to discuss your case and determine your next steps.

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