Truck accidents are the worst kinds of accidents on the road due to their size and weight. To help put their lives back together, victims must work with an experienced truck accident lawyer who understands the main causes of truck accidents.
Truck accidents are unfortunately common on highways and interstates. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were almost half a million police-reported crashes involving large trucks.
Truck accidents are especially complex to navigate as accident victims must battle with the truck driver, the trucking company, their insurance company, and their legal team. Here are the top reasons why these crashes happen.
Because truck drivers spend such long hours in their vehicles, it’s not uncommon to see them multitasking behind the wheel. Whether they’re eating, talking on the phone, texting, using their CB radio, or adjusting a GPS, they’re prone to distractions that can lead to serious consequences.
Distracted driving can cause the trucker to commit traffic violations such as failure to signal, running a stop sign, or swerving into another lane. These kinds of traffic infractions are dangerous for normal cars, but even more so for commercial trucks.
Another main cause of truck accidents is mechanical failures or faulty equipment. Sometimes the truck’s load was not properly secured or the tires were past their prime and they blew out.
An experienced Lake Charles truck accident lawyer can trace these failures back to the source, which may be the truck’s manufacturer or the truck maintenance company. If there was faulty equipment or evidence that the truck should have never passed an inspection, more than just the truck driver is at fault.
It takes a great deal of skill to maneuver an 80,000 pound-vehicle down the highway at 65 miles per hour. Truck drivers need to know how to navigate specific driving skills such as turning, braking, merging, and driving up and down hills.
In compliance with federal safety regulations, truck drivers are required to go through several hours of training and acquire these skills before they can take them out on the roads.
Unfortunately, many truck drivers you may encounter are unqualified or undertrained. These types of truck drivers present the most danger to other motorists because they don’t know how to handle their vehicles, leading to crashes and even fatalities.
Truck drivers are used to spending long hours on the road and driving through the night. There are hours-of-service limits implemented to prevent drivers from going too long without sleep. However, trucking companies put enormous pressure on their drivers to complete delivery routes by certain deadlines. This leads truckers to log more hours in the truck than they should.
The lack of rest can dull the truck driver’s reflexes, or even put the driver to sleep at the wheel. Commercial trucks are unforgiving toward other vehicles, so anytime a truck driver is not fully alert and aware of their surroundings, they put everyone else on the road in harm’s way.
Blind spots are another main cause of truck accidents that can lead to devastating consequences. Drivers should be aware of a truck’s blind spots, including:
Truckers are held to safety regulations that are meant to minimize blind spot dangers. By using all of the mirrors on the truck, practicing extreme caution when changing lanes, and double-checking their blind spots, truck drivers can lessen the dangers of hitting another vehicle.
However, even if a vehicle is in a truck’s blind spot and an accident occurs, it’s still possible that the truck driver failed to take all of the necessary precautions and is liable for the accident.
Rollovers are the main type of truck accidents and cause severe damage to others on the road. When a truck driver loses control of their truck by turning too fast or aggressively, the vehicle can hit something that initiates the rollover. Commercial trucks have been known to hit guardrails, curbs, or even other cars on the road and then rollover.
Not only does the actual rollover cause significant damage to other vehicles, but it can have a chain effect by causing other accidents on the road as motorists try to avoid hitting the truck.
Although trucks are supposed to undergo rigorous inspection prior to taking them on the road, sometimes tires that are too worn still pass inspection. If a truck’s tire blows out and the truck isn’t able to safely make it to the shoulder of the road, it can lead to serious accidents in the middle of the highway or interstate.
Commercial trucks are hauling thousands of pounds of cargo across the country at high speeds. This is a dangerous practice in and of itself, and the cargo must be loaded perfectly to avoid any issues. However, semis are often driving with improperly loaded freight, making a dangerous vehicle even more threatening and unstable.
As you can see, there are several main causes of truck accidents that can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities on the road. If you or a loved one were involved in a truck accident, it’s likely that you’re now facing a mountain of medical bills, not to mention lost income, trauma, and other expenses.
The experienced Louisiana personal injury attorneys at the Johnson Firm have decades of experience in investigating the causes of truck accidents and fighting for justice on behalf of victims. Not only do we determine the cause of the accident, but we’re not afraid to hold large trucking companies liable for their part as well.
Call us today at (337) 427-8961 and let us help you get your rightful compensation.