Truck accidents can be devastating to a victim and their entire family. Given the size and weight of a truck, even at a low impact, a truck accident can be catastrophic. The results of a truck accident can lead to back, spinal cord, brain injury, and even wrongful death. You or your loved one may be entitled to collect damages.
Often, the truck driver is not responsible for the accident. However, some truckers are under increased pressure by trucking companies to meet company deadlines. This pressure usually contributes to driver fatigue, intoxication by substances used for sleep deprivation, and being in too much of a hurry to properly maintain the trucks themselves. For innocent motorists in their path, this can be a recipe for disaster.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident and need truck accident legal advice, let a truck accident lawyer at Seawell and Buckmelter help you. Call us now at 303.297.3200 or contact us.
Truck Rollovers have increased at an alarming rate on our highways. A truck’s size and the way in which the weight is distributed inside, can contribute to unstable conditions. Passing cars often suffer the majority of the injuries and devastation during a truck roll over. Truck rollovers can at times be caused by driver negligence, but most often a truck rollover is the result of a design flaw, a defective tire or an improperly secured load. Tire tread separation, blowouts, or other tire defects can cause catastrophic injuries and even death.
Sport Utility Vehicles (“SUVs”) are very popular with families today, even with the high gas prices. Due to this increase in popularity, we have seen an increase in accidents. Of which, close to 63% of all deaths occur from a rollover.
The majority of rollover crashes occur when a vehicle runs off the road and flies over a ditch or hits a curb. The major factor in rollover accidents is in the lack of stability of the vehicle itself. The National Highway Transportation Safety Association has developed rollover resistance ratings. They have reported that taller, narrower vehicles such as SUVs are more likely to roll once they leave the roadway.
Truck accidents cause over 130,000 injuries every year in the United States. Of those, approximately 5,000 result in death.
There are five main reasons a truck may cause an accident:
- Turning: Large trucks need a lot of room to turn. It is common for the truck driver to use more than one lane of traffic to make a right turn. This often results in unsuspecting passenger vehicles being crushed.
- Fatigue: One study indicates the average truck driver only gets 4.8 hours of sleep per night. Clearly this is not enough rest. Although the laws have been changed limiting a trucker’s drive time, studies show some truckers still continue to drive long hours in order to keep up with the company demands.
- Brake Time: Large trucks can’t stop on a dime, which leads to a great number of rear-end accidents. A rear-end collision from a truck is always more devastating than with an automobile, due to the weight of the truck.
- Jack-knife: Large trucks can jack-knife if they come to a sudden stop and the load shifts. This sudden shift causes the trailer to come around and go sideways. When this happens, there is no place for a passenger vehicle to go.
- Stimulants: Due to the long hours on the road, many truckers have turned to using stimulants to keep themselves awake. Often these stimulants are illegal. Once these stimulants wear off, truck drivers usually tire rather quickly causing them to fall asleep at the wheel.
18 Wheeler Accidents have increased at an alarming rate each year. 18 Wheeler Accidents can result from unsafe driving, oversized loads and other unsafe practices that put other motorists as well as the truck operator in danger.
There are three primary causes of 18 Wheeler Accidents:
Jack-Knife Accidents – A jack-knife truck accident can be catastrophic for all who come in contact with the truck, including the truck driver. A jack-knife is when a truck with a tractor goes into a skid and the trailer swings out and stops to form a 90 degree angle. Jackknifing usually occurs when the drive wheels lock while the front wheels and the trailer keep rolling forward. A jack-knife can cause multi-car pile-ups, which often result in many fatalities.
Unsecured Loads – When equipment or loads are not properly secured, they can shift or fall off the vehicle. This can cause an obstacle course of debris for other vehicles. When a truck driver changes lanes or turns the unsecured load, the inside of a trailer can shift and cause the vehicle to lose control. The driver, truck owner, and the manufacturer can all be held responsible for putting innocent people in harm’s way.
Wheel Blow Outs – When the tire tread on a truck becomes old or is defective, a blow out can occur. A blow out can result in an immediate loss of control, such as when the back end of the truck begins to fishtail. When this occurs, the truck can flip or go airborne, causing a rollover. A blowout can also cause the truck to stop abruptly, which could result in a pile-up behind it.
Delivery trucks, due to their size and shape, often have obstructed views. This limits their ability to see other drivers, resulting in accidents.
Delivery truck drivers may also pull over in restricted areas or double-park on city streets with their flashers on, to deliver their goods. Unfortunately, this habit causes an obstacle course for traffic and may result in an accident. For the innocent pedestrian, this can prove deadly as the view from oncoming traffic is restricted and often a vehicle is unable to stop until it is too late.
Delivery truck drivers have a duty to drive responsibly on the roads and to avoid dangerous and sometimes deadly collisions with other motorists.