Alberta’s vast roadways are vital to the province’s economic engine. However, sharing the road with large trucks and other commercial vehicles can be intimidating; unfortunately, accidents involving these behemoths can have devastating consequences. If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck or commercial vehicle accident, knowing the right steps to take can make a significant difference.

Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents 

Commercial trucking accidents occur nationwide and often have devastating consequences for those involved. Between 2022, 1,931 fatal collisions involving commercial vehicles (including trucks) occurred throughout Canada.

There are many possible causes for trucking accidents, but some of the most common include:

Driver error

Driver error is the most prominent cause of trucking accidents, both on the part of truckers and other drivers sharing the road. An accident will likely occur if a driver mishandles traffic or operates their vehicle on unfamiliar roads. The increased number of commercial trucks and passenger vehicles on Canadian highways can also increase the likelihood of being involved in an accident.


Substance impairment is also a major contributing factor in commercial vehicle accidents, as drivers operating any motorized vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol are more likely to cause an accident.


Commercial drivers often work long hours without adequate rest breaks. Tight schedules can place drivers at risk of driving while fatigued and falling asleep at the wheel, resulting in single or multi-vehicle accidents. Fatigue can also contribute to driving mistakes and affect a driver’s reaction time to other hazards.

Careless or reckless driving

Careless driving is another common cause of trucking accidents. When a driver fails to pay attention to road conditions or other vehicles or does not follow highway traffic laws, they are at risk of causing an accident. Moreover, distracted driving is another hazardous practice that puts both commercial drivers and other road users at risk of collisions.

Reckless driving, such as following another vehicle too closely, speeding, or drifting between lanes, is similarly risky and can lead to serious accidents. Head-on collisions with trucks on Alberta highways can occur when other drivers cross into oncoming traffic while trying to pass another vehicle.

Mechanical or maintenance issues

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Regulation (under Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act) requires commercial vehicles to comply with certain standards and remain in proper working order by undergoing regular maintenance.

Commercial trucks endure considerable wear and tear as they are driven for multiple long-hauls through various weather and road conditions. As such, these trucks can be susceptible to mechanical failures, such as faulty brakes and tire blowouts. Aging truck fleets are also at risk of mechanical issues if used extensively before retirement. 

Roadside safety

Large commercial trucks can also create a serious hazard by incorrectly or dangerously parking on the side of the road while attending to mechanical issues or resting. If the reflective markings or lighting on the truck are not properly maintained, the truck or its trailer can be difficult to see, leading to a risk of being hit by passing vehicles.

Overweight or poorly secured cargo

Commercial trucks often carry large and heavy loads of cargo or other materials. If the load is not properly secured, it risks falling off the truck and either colliding with another vehicle or creating a hazard on the road.  

Weather conditions

Weather conditions can also play a role in the likelihood of a trucking accident occurring. Navigating various weather conditions, such as high winds, icy roads, and heavy rain or snowfall, all pose different risks to commercial vehicle drivers.

Injuries Resulting From Truck Accidents

Accidents involving commercial trucks can often be catastrophic or fatal. Due to the sheer size and weight of these vehicles, what would otherwise be considered a minor accident could instead result in serious permanent injuries or disabilities. Some common injuries resulting from trucking accidents include:

  • Concussions and brain injuries;
  • Fractures;
  • Bruises, cuts and concussions;
  • Permanent disabilities; 
  • Death.

Therefore, truck drivers must take extra care to ensure that their vehicles are maintained up to standard and that they can drive them for long periods of time throughout the day and night. 

Making a Claim After a Trucking Accident

When trucking accidents occur and result in serious injuries or death, the injured drivers or their families may be able to pursue a claim against the truck driver, the trucking company, or both. 

In Canada, the trucking industry is heavily regulated. Drivers are required to keep detailed logs of their maintenance, rest periods, cargo pick-ups, and any issues that may arise during their travels. In the event of an accident, these regulations can provide significant evidence to support a personal injury claim. 

If you or a loved one have sustained a serious injury due to a commercial trucking accident, it is important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can explain the rules and regulations governing the trucking industry and how the law may apply to your case. 

Cuming & Gillespie LLP Represents Clients in Serious Trucking Accidents Across Alberta

The knowledgeable personal injury lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie in Calgary regularly pursue truck accident claims for injured individuals. Our team of truck accident lawyers has a comprehensive understanding of the regulations and protocols governing the trucking industry. It will carefully review all materials and evidence, including all documents provided by the police. We will manage your claim and work to ensure that you recover the maximum compensation possible after an accident. To discuss your trucking accident case with a team member, contact us online or by phone at 403-571-0555.