Trucks are one of the most common vehicles that we can see on our highways. These vehicles are responsible for transporting bulks of goods from one place to another to meet the demands of the country's growing population.
Although these vehicles are essential for the survival of a certain population, these large vehicles can pose danger to a motorist.
The risk that comes with it is heightened especially when the truck drivers are negligent in doing their job and ignoring the safety standards and precautions that they should observe at all times.
What are the common causes of truck accidents?
Some of the greatest devastation that we have seen in the highways are caused by truck accidents. Due to the sheer size of the vehicle alone, these trucks can cause considerable damage to property, inflict catastrophic injuries to a number of victims or worse can cause death.
Injuries or fatalities brought about by truck accidents will depend upon the circumstances surrounding the case.
In most cases, the truck driver is the one who is at fault for the accident. In North Carolina alone, according to statistics, from 2003 to 2013 nearly 1,700 people were killed in accidents that involve large trucks.
Common causes of truck accidents from commercial drivers include:
Truck Driver Tiredness and Fatigue
There are federal regulations that limit the length of time that a commercial truck driver can log in every week. The maximum number of driving hour limit allowed is 11 hours after a consecutive 10 hours off duty for trucks that are carrying a cargo.
This time frame is provided to give truck drivers the chance to get the right amount of sleep and rest that they need. We should be reminded that truck drivers often drive to scheduled routes that spread hundred to thousands of miles. This length can bring tiredness and fatigue even to the most experienced drivers.
Poor or Improper Truck Maintenance
The companies who manage or own the trucks are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the vehicles. There should be a proper documentation of all the maintenance checks. In case an accident occurred due to faulty parts or equipment, the truck company is found to be blamed. Equipment malfunctions can range from a faulty break to tire blowouts.
Equipment failure can also occur because of seasonal elements. This includes poorly constructed roads and a variety of other factors. It can also be by reason of inclement weather conditions such as snow or ice which can put large trucks as an extremely dangerous vehicle on the road.
Spending long hours on the road and at most times, on remote locations can lead truck drivers the urge to multitask. Operating a mobile device while driving is one of the most common causes of distracted driving.
Talking or texting or even entering directions into a GPS device is enough for drivers to take their eyes off the road and put themselves and other people in danger. Truck drivers are expected to put their full attention on the road even when there is less traffic on the road.
Texting Truck Drivers
Texting while driving is highly prohibited in many states. It is against the law and is banned nationwide for drivers of commercial trucks. Although there is a law that is in existences, this does not prevent some drivers from continuously violating this law by texting while on the wheel. This significantly increases the chances for accidents to happen.
Speeding Truck Drivers
Speeding trucks put other people on the road at risk. The recommended speed limit for trucks is implemented to keep with the flow of the traffic. Exceeding the speed limit is a high cause of concern with truckers especially the vehicles that they are carrying weighs nearly 20 times greater than an average passenger vehicle.
In addition to speeding, other unsafe driving practices that truck drivers do are, road rage, following another vehicle too closely, failure to use turn signals, frequent lane changes, and driving long stretches of time on the road.
Inadequate or improper training
A driver not adequately trained or has not undergone proper training on how to handle a commercial truck, how to do the defensive driving and other safety elements, and then the driver poses a hazard on the road.
The amount of cargo these trucks are carrying is one of the most crucial factors to consider. Driving a commercial truck is not the same as navigating traffic in a passenger car. There are separate regulations meant to address how much weight can a commercial truck carry.
This is because if the vehicle is overloaded, it can pose a detrimental effect to the driver and the vehicle itself. Due to too much weight, tires can experience blowouts or the truck could jackknife. Other than overloading, improperly secured cargo also pose a great danger and possibly serious and fatal accidents.
Losses Caused by Semi-truck Collisions
The victims of a truck accident often incur an overwhelming loss because of the severity of their injuries. an investigation will be conducted to identify which party is negligent. Then, an assessment of the full value of the losses and damages caused will be made.
The compensation that is regularly recovered are the following:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Future lost earnings ability
- Estimated future medical costs
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Wrongful death
These losses can be expensive. As such, there is usually a lot at stake when there is a truck accident claim.
Discuss Your Situation With an Experienced Lawyer as Soon as Possible
If you or your loved ones have been involved in a truck accident, you have the option to seek a lawyer experienced with these type of cases.
Cases that arise out of truck accidents, especially those that result from common causes of truck accidents, are handled differently than regular vehicular accidents involving only cars and its passengers.
The truck company is often involved in this case as well. This is where a lawyer with the skills and expertise are needed to help you fully investigate the accident and determine what is the compensation that is just and fair to be given to the victims.