St. Louis, the bustling metropolis at the heart of Missouri, is no stranger to the devastating impact of truck accidents. As the intersection of major highways like I-70, I-64, and I-44, St. Louis experiences a high volume of truck traffic, increasing the risk of serious collisions.

St. Louis truck accident lawyers stand as stark witnesses to the impact these collisions have. They see firsthand the physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens endured by victims and their families.

These legal professionals are acutely aware of the long-lasting consequences that a single accident can inflict. In this blog post, we will explore the common causes of truck accidents in St. Louis and provide practical advice to help keep our roads safe.

Driver-Related Causes

Trucking company practices and driver behavior significantly contribute to the high number of accidents plaguing the city streets. From the busy streets of downtown to the highways stretching across the Metro East, truck drivers face unique challenges.

Driver Fatigue and Hours-of-Service Violations

Behind the wheel, fatigue is a hidden enemy. Drowsiness significantly increases the risk of accidents, jeopardizing the safety of everyone on the road. According to the National Safety Council, it’s estimated to be a contributing factor in a staggering 100,000 crashes, resulting in over 70,000 injuries and 1,500 fatalities each year.

The effects of drowsy driving and drunk driving share a disturbing similarity. Studies indicate that driving for over 20 hours without sleep can negatively impact your judgment and reaction time to the same degree as having a BAC of 0.08%.

The demanding nature of truck driving, coupled with the pressure to meet tight deadlines, can push drivers to their limits. Employers must prioritize driver well-being and enforce strict adherence to regulations to prevent these tragedies.

Substance Use

In 2020, overdose deaths surged by roughly 20% statewide compared to 2019, with a staggering 1,400 fatalities. The crisis hit the Southwest Region particularly hard, with deaths rising by around 15%.

Opioids were involved in roughly three-quarters of these deaths, reflecting a concerning 30% increase in opioid-related fatalities across the state. The data reveals a troubling rise in Missouri’s drug crisis. Its impact on truck safety cannot be overlooked.

The city of Independence, Missouri, witnessed a deadly crash in September of 2023. Here, a man, under the influence of drugs, rammed into a car, killing the car owner on the spot.


Regular drug testing and support programs are crucial for trucking companies operating in St. Louis. Safeguarding the well-being of all road users hinges on ensuring St. Louis truck drivers remain sober and alert behind the wheel.

Vehicle-Related Causes

According to TorHoerman Law, proper maintenance and loading are crucial for truck safety, but neglecting these aspects can lead to horrific crashes and load spillovers.

Improper Maintenance

Trucking companies in St. Louis have a legal obligation to ensure regular vehicle inspections. Neglecting maintenance can result in equipment failure, such as brake malfunctions. The hilly terrain of St. Louis can exacerbate the consequences of poor maintenance.

Improperly Loaded Cargo

Overloaded or unevenly distributed cargo can greatly impact a truck’s stability, especially on St. Louis’s winding roads like Route 66. Loose loads can shift unexpectedly while in transit, putting the truck at risk of tipping over.

To prevent these accidents, trucking companies in St. Louis need to follow strict loading procedures and utilize effective methods to secure cargo. The Missouri Department of Transportation regularly conducts roadside inspections to identify and address loading violations.

External Factors

External factors are often beyond the control of even the most skilled truck drivers. Far from minor mishaps, these accidents have the potential to become catastrophic events.

Inclement Weather

St. Louis roads transform into treacherous landscapes when rain, snow, or ice takes hold. Even seasoned drivers can be caught off guard by slick surfaces on major interstates like I-64 and I-44.

There were over 30 mishaps involving Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) trucks in January 2022. This was during a brutal ice storm that severely limited visibility.

If you’re a St. Louis resident unfortunate enough to be injured in such a collision, skilled legal representation is recommended. A St. Louis truck accident lawyer can be your advocate, ensuring you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

Road Construction and Infrastructure

St. Louis’s position as a major transportation hub means that its roads are constantly undergoing maintenance and improvements. These projects are necessary for the long-term health and safety of the city’s infrastructure.

While these projects benefit the city in the long run, they can pose temporary obstacles for truck drivers. Construction zones like the ones found on I-270 and I-70 can cause sudden lane closures, traffic congestion, and confusing detours that can be difficult for even the most experienced drivers to navigate.

Construction zones introduce another layer of complexity for truck drivers. The presence of heavy machinery and construction workers creates additional hazards that necessitate heightened awareness and a more cautious approach behind the wheel.

Preventing Truck Accidents in St. Louis

Reducing truck accidents in St. Louis requires a collaborative effort from trucking companies and motorists.

Strategies for Trucking Companies

St. Louis trucking companies can enhance safety by implementing comprehensive driver training programs. These programs should focus on navigating the city’s unique challenges, like the Poplar Street Bridge.


Technologies like collision avoidance systems can act as a crucial safeguard on busy highways like I-55. These can prevent accidents before they occur.

Tips for Passenger Vehicle Drivers

Motorists in St. Louis can contribute to truck safety by maintaining a safe distance. The hilly terrain of the Ozarks can make it difficult to see trucks ahead. Drivers should avoid lingering in trucks’ blind spots, especially on curvy roads like Missouri Route 100.

When passing trucks on highways like I-44, drivers must allow adequate space for maneuvers. Exercising caution around trucks is crucial, particularly in busy areas like the Central West End.

By following these tips, drivers can help prevent devastating truck accidents.

While the roads of St. Louis hum with commerce and progress, safety must always be paramount. A collaborative effort is key. Trucking companies must prioritize driver well-being and responsible practices, while motorists need to exercise caution and awareness.

By working together, we can transform St. Louis’s bustling thoroughfares into safer spaces for everyone. Remember, knowledge is power. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel from an experienced St. Louis truck accident lawyer. Their expertise can ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.