Trucking accidents are far more dangerous for drivers than regular car accidents. The size and weight of commercial trucks are vastly greater than that of the average passenger car and can have devastating consequences. There are a number of causes of trucking accidents, and the liability of trucking accidents can vary greatly, depending on the cause. If you’ve been injured in a semi-truck accident, it is critical to understand the cause of your accident for your claim. Here are some of the most common causes of truck accidents.
Commercial truck drivers have a much higher duty of care that they owe to other drivers on the road, but that doesn’t mean that they cannot make careless mistakes. It is the job of the trucking company to fully train their drivers in defensive driving techniques and ensure they are prepared for a number of situations. The company must also enforce strict policies regarding rest time, substance use, and other factors that can make a driver dangerous. When companies fail to do, the results can be deadly.
It is also up to auto drivers to drive carefully when sharing the road with semi-trucks. More than 80% of all truck accidents were caused by a passenger vehicle, and not by the truck driver, according to the American Trucking Associations.
Poor Truck Maintenance
While most passenger vehicles are maintained every few months or few thousand miles, commercial trucks should be maintained far more frequently. This is because of two main factors: semi-trucks drive hundreds of thousands of miles every year, meaning that they wear out more quickly, and equipment failure caused by wear and tear must be prevented. Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that trucks are properly repaired and maintained. They also are responsible for ensuring that drivers are trained to inspect their trucks and report potential problems so they can be addressed. If a driver overlooks worn brake pads, or the maintenance crew sends out a truck without ensuring that it was in fully operational condition, and an accident occurs due to a mechanical issue, the trucking company may be held liable for any injuries or deaths that occur.
As mentioned above, equipment failure due to improper maintenance is a danger, but trucks can break down due to other factors. Faulty parts or design is another factor that can lead to equipment failure. If a truck’s brakes fail under normal use due to a faulty part, the manufacturer of the truck or the faulty part may be the liable party.
Bad Weather Conditions
When it’s raining, windy, snowing, dark, or foggy, all drivers on the road need to take additional precautions to prevent accidents. Trucks, with their heavier weights, have much longer stopping distances and less maneuverability. This means that poor weather conditions require even more care and attention than a truck driver would normally be expected to give. Trucking companies must also train drivers in proper driving techniques to help them safely navigate less-than-clear conditions.
Faulty Cargo Loading
Whether hauling a flatbed trailer or a box trailer, the weight distribution and security of the load is of the utmost importance. This is why there are industry regulations regarding how loads are to be loaded and secured for the trip. When cargo isn’t properly loaded, it can lead to accidents. Cargo can shift and throw off the balance of a truck, making it a challenge to maintain control. It can also fall from the trailer, creating a serious traffic hazard. Ground crews and truck drivers need to be properly trained in appropriate loading procedures and follow all regulations.
Many trucking accidents are caused by preventable events. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages. Our Tampa Bay personal injury attorneys are prepared to assist you through every step of your case. At the Paulsen Law Group, our experienced team will support you and offer personalized legal solutions for your case. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about your options.
Ready to learn more? Contact our firm by calling (727) 270-8260.