trucks in southern missouri

What Are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Missouri?

Accidents involving commercial trucks in Missouri killed 137 people and injured another 4,129 in 2022 alone, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. These crashes left families bereaved and survivors with life-altering injuries, costly medical bills, significant time away from work, and deep emotional distress. Perhaps most tragically, the same handful of causes led to many of these senseless accidents – causes that are often entirely preventable.

The Missouri truck accident lawyers at Privette Law Office can help if you’ve suffered injuries in a semi-truck crash. Let’s explore some of the most common causes of truck accidents across Missouri and what you can do in their aftermath.

Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving is a leading cause of truck accidents in Missouri. It happens when truck drivers are too tired to stay fully alert, which can lead to driving errors like drifting out of a lane or failing to stop in time. This tiredness can come from long hours on the road without enough breaks.

Fatigue is a particular problem among truck drivers because they often have to meet tight schedules. This pressure can lead them to drive for too long without rest. But skipping rest can lead to mistakes. It’s crucial for everyone’s safety that drivers get the rest they need, which is why state and federal authorities have Hours of Service regulations governing how long truck drivers can work without rest to minimize the chances of drowsy driving crashes.


Speeding is another major cause of truck crashes in Missouri. Trucks are large and heavy, which means they need more time to stop than smaller cars. When a truck is going too fast, stopping quickly becomes much harder. This can lead to crashes, especially if traffic slows down suddenly or there’s an unexpected obstacle on the road. Also, when truckers speed, they have less control of their vehicle. This can make it tough to turn safely or avoid hazards on the road.

Distracted Driving

A trucker is driving distracted when they aren’t keeping their attention fully on the road. Distractions can come in many forms, from using a phone or adjusting the radio to eating or simply losing focus. During these moments of distraction, a driver might miss critical cues like stop signs, traffic lights, or sudden slowdowns in traffic. Since trucks are so large, even a momentary lapse in attention can have big consequences.

Mechanical Failures/Defects

Components that are manufactured incorrectly or maintained improperly can break while in use, with potentially disastrous consequences. Since trucks are complex machines, even a minor issue can be dangerous. Some common mechanical failures include brake malfunctions, tire blowouts, and engine problems. For example, a truck can’t stop properly if its brakes fail. If a tire blows out, the sudden destabilization might cause the driver to lose control. An engine stall could turn a truck into an unpredictable hazard for other drivers. Regular maintenance and inspections are critical to minimizing the occurrence of defect-related accidents.

Impaired Driving

Alcohol, drugs, and certain medications can severely affect a truck driver’s judgment, reaction times, and overall ability to drive safely. For example, alcohol can make it hard for drivers to judge distances and speeds accurately. Drugs might make a driver too tired or too excited to focus on the road. Even prescription medications can have side effects that make driving unsafe.

Injured in a Missouri Truck Crash? Privette Law Office Can Help

Have you been injured in a truck accident in Missouri? Whether it had one of the above causes or another one altogether, the same fact remains: if someone else was to blame for the accident, they could owe you money for your injuries. The Missouri truck accident attorneys at Privette Law Office can investigate a crash while you heal and help you hold the liable party accountable. Call us today or complete our contact form for a free consultation.