Some of the most dangerous vehicles on the roads are trucks. Their size and weight are the main factors that make them such a threat. When trucks barrel down the highway pulling heavy loads, the force created can be impossible to stop if a dangerous situation arises. While the same may be true for any motorist, truck drivers are likely to have even more trouble braking in time to avoid a collision.
Truck accidents are more likely to be deadly compared to car accidents. Even when all the people involved survive a serious truck accident, injuries that result can be life changing. Truck accidents are responsible for some of the most devastating motor vehicle accident injuries. Consequently, truck accidents account for some of the highest damage awards.
What are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
The size and weight of commercial trucks and their loaded trailers can make truck accidents more dangerous when they occur, but many trucks are able to safely transverse roads every day. So, what factors cause dangerous truck accidents? Some common causes of truck accidents are listed below.
Unsafe or Aggressive Driving
One main reason of truck accidents is truckers disregarding traffic laws to make good time. Truck drivers should observe all traffic laws, including driving at a safe speed, avoiding tailgating, obeying traffic signs and signals, using turn signals, and conforming to other safety measures. Like all other motorists, truck drivers have a duty to keep roads safe. With one false move, a truck driver could easily total a much smaller passenger car, endangering its occupants and others in the vicinity.
Even with large and well-positioned mirrors in place, truck drivers may find it difficult to see everything surrounding their huge vehicles. Areas to the sides and rear of a truck can involve significant blind spots, as well as the area immediately in front of a truck because of the high occupant cab.
If a car enters one of these blind spot areas of a truck that is either parked or traveling nearby, the truck driver may not be able to see the car. This can result in the truck driver making a move that causes an accident with the unseen vehicle.
Drowsy drivers have been known to cause accidents due to their lethargy and loss of focus behind the wheel. Any motorist should be alert and awake to drive safely.
Since the trucking industry is a time-sensitive business, sometimes, the incentives get muddled. For this reason, there are laws that regulate how long a truck driver is allowed on the road. When these rules are violated, accidents can happen.
Long hours on the road might entice a truck driver to seek entertainment from a smartphone or another device. Distracted driving can be extremely dangerous. It only takes a few seconds for a driver to take their attention off the road for a danger to present itself without a chance for the motorist to react.
Poor Hiring and Training Practices
Trucking companies are obligated to perform thorough background checks on potential employees before allowing them to operate a commercial truck. Drivers must have an appropriate commercial driver’s license (CDL) and a good driving record to qualify for the job. Employers who do not ensure that their drivers are safe may be found liable if an accident occurs.
Trouble with the truck or its parts can cause a serious accident. Malfunction of the brakes, tires, horns, trailer connections, or other parts can create extreme dangers.
Like all vehicles, trucks must be properly maintained to be safe for the roads. Trucking companies may try to save money by putting off maintenance or approving the use of inferior parts. These workarounds can be costly if they cause an accident.
Poor Weather and Road Conditions
Heavy rain or snow can cause visibility issues for truck drivers. Slippery road surfaces can cause a trucker to lose control of their truck. Dangerous winds can cause a truck to topple. Potholes and poor road markings can also cause accidents.
What are the Different Types of Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents are often very different from crashes that involve only cars. Here are a few types of common truck accidents:
- Tip-Over Accident: This is caused by the truck’s height. The truck is at risk of tipping over on tight turns or during high winds.
- Jackknife Collision: A truck may jackknife during a collision or when it sudden stops, causing the truck and trailer to end up at a 90-degree angle. This can block traffic and cause subsequent accidents.
- Dangerous or Toxic Spill Accident: This involves a dangerous load being transported in the truck that escapes and puts people in danger.
- Rear-End Truck Crash: This is caused by either the truck or another vehicle that tailgates or stops abruptly.
- Override and Underride Accident: These accidents are when the car gets stuck under the belly of the truck’s trailer.
- T-Bone Collision: This occurs when one vehicle crashes into the side of another, usually at an intersection.
- Wide-Turn Accident: A wide-turn accident is caused when a truck moves to the left to make a right turn and a car gets struck or overridden.
- Blind Spot Truck Crash: This involves a trucker maneuvering without noticing a car in their blind spot.
- Tire Blowout Accident: A tire blowout can cause the driver to lose control, which is extremely dangerous when the vehicle is a truck.
- Head-On Collision: A head-on collision can happen when a truck makes a turn into oncoming traffic.
What Injuries Commonly Result from Car Accidents?
Truck accidents are known for serious injuries, such as:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Severe burns
- Injuries to muscles and soft tissues
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Brain injuries
How are Truck Accidents Different from Car Accidents?
Truck accidents can be much more complicated than typical two-car collisions. Usually, liability in a regular car accident comes down to which driver acted carelessly. When it comes to truck accidents, there are many parties that could be liable.
While the truck driver may be at fault for a reckless maneuver or a poor choice, the motorist’s actions may be related to the poor training they received from their employer. The liability may lie with the hiring process that caused that driver to be put behind the wheel in the first place.
Alternatively, the accident may have had nothing at all to do with poor driving behavior or driver error. The truck accident may have been caused by a malfunction in the truck or one of its parts. In those types of cases, the manufacturer of the faulty equipment may be held liable.
It could be that the truck part that caused the accident would not have been a problem if it had been installed correctly. In that case, the mechanic that serviced the truck may be at fault.
If the truck accident involved a loss of the truck’s cargo, the shipping or loading company may be responsible for packing the load unevenly or overloading the truck. Loaders act irresponsibility if they disregard capacity limits or load the truck with more than it can handle. The company responsible for that part of the trucking process can be held liable for the accident because of these negligent actions.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer for a Truck Accident Claim?
Since there are so many possible liable parties, any person who has been injured in a truck accident should seek damages with the help of a lawyer. A skilled lawyer can recognize some of the ploys used to deny responsibility or to convince an injured victim to accept an insufficient settlement for their losses. A lawyer can protect the rights of their client and help them receive an ideal outcome.
Burlington County Truck Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Help Victims Affected by Negligent Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies
If you were hurt in a truck accident, you might be able to receive damages. The Burlington County truck accident lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman advocate on behalf of victims harmed by reckless truck drivers and trucking companies. Contact us online or call us at 856-751-2345 for a free consultation. We are located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and we serve clients throughout Burlington County and the surrounding areas.