There are tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of trucks on the road hauling freight from one location to the other on any given day. The trucking industry is a significant contributor to the United States economy, with over 3.5 million people directly employed as drivers and a further 7.6 million employed indirectly. With more than 30 million trucks registered in the country, traffic accidents involving trucks are a commonplace.
Collisions involving big-haulage vehicles are more deadly, given their sheer size and weight. Unfortunately, the number of annual truck accidents happening is in the hundreds of thousands.
Major Causes of Truck Accidents
Just like most other auto-accidents, human error is the top contributor of truck accidents on our roads. Below are the leading causes:
Lack of experience
Driving while impaired (DWI)
Bad weather Conditions
Poor vehicle maintenance
Types of Truck Accidents
Rear-end crashes occur when a vehicle crashes into the one in front of it. When two small cars are involved, the injuries are usually minor, but the stakes are much higher when trucks are involved. The force of impact is greater, given that some of these trucks weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. The accidents are more severe, especially for occupants of smaller vehicles.
These accidents happen when a truck’s driver loses control, and the trailer folds itself, forming a closing jackknife shape. Speeding is the leading cause of jackknife accidents, because they occur when the driver brakes too hard. Poor weather conditions may make the truck skid and lose control too. When this happens, there’s nothing much the truck driver can do to prevent a collision, which is usually disastrous.
An underride collision is perhaps the most dangerous type of accident involving trucks. They occur when a vehicle crashes underneath a trailer often scraping off it’s roof. This leaves the occupants unprotected, and the degree of injuries are higher in such instances. From a trucker’s side, tail lights that are not working may cause such an accident, as well as poor visibility in case of a stall on a busy road.
Runaway Trailer Crashes
Such accidents occur purely out of speeding, where the driver ends up losing control of the truck. When the trailer exceeds the truck’s speed, it becomes almost impossible to apply the brakes, especially if it’s fully loaded. Lack of proper maintenance and mechanical failure are the leading causes of these accidents.
Blind Spot Accidents
Large trucks have blind spots where the driver cannot see your vehicle properly. This has caused numerous accidents, especially with inexperienced drivers. When such a driver loses sight of the other cars around him, a collision is almost inevitable. This is why safety experts warn against the assumption of visibility. Blindspot signs are common on large trailers, and all drivers should practice caution around such trucks.
Get in Touch with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
In the event of a crash involving a truck, many parties may be at fault, depending on the accident’s circumstances. To settle a car accident lawsuit favorably, it is necessary to involve a qualified lawyer as soon as possible.
If the truck was defective, you could sue the trucking company for compensation, but you’ll need to prove the truck’s defectiveness. It may not be as straightforward because trucking companies will always seek to avoid liability.
However, such companies are required by law to keep records of maintenance, and a qualified attorney will go through the documents to ascertain all standards are met. This will go a long way in ensuring you are adequately compensated, especially if the truck was unroadworthy or the driver was careless.