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Trucking accidents can result in serious injuries for those in passenger vehicles, so drivers throughout Massachusetts want to make sure they are being as safe as possible. Below are just five of the top causes of 18-wheeler accidents.

Driver error is an obvious one, but in the overwhelming majority of collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles, it’s the drivers of the latter who commit the error. This error can range from negligent actions like distracted and drowsy driving to outright reckless behavior.

The second cause is poor vehicle maintenance. Large trucks quickly develop wear and tear, and if truckers fail to inspect their rig before every shift like they are required to do, they could put themselves and others in danger. The third factor is equipment failure due to a defective part. If the trucker had no reasonable way of knowing about the defect, then the fault may lie with the parts manufacturer, installer or company that sold the truck.

Bad weather also contributes to accidents, in particular when truckers are inexperienced and do not slow down on wet or icy roads. Last but not least is improperly loaded cargo. If the loaders pack in too much cargo, the truck may tip over. If it’s not secured, it may fall out onto the road.

Victims of motor vehicle accidents may have incurred serious, even catastrophic, injuries because of the negligent or reckless actions of a truck driver. These injuries may have diminished their capacity to earn a living. Fortunately, if victims file a claim, they may achieve a settlement that covers all their losses. It will likely take some work, though, so victims could do well by hiring a lawyer. Trucking companies can be aggressive in denying payment, but the lawyer may handle all negotiations.