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Negligence and Trucking Accidents

Negligence and Trucking Accidents

Posted By The Weinstein Firm, LLC || 23-Aug-2016

While trucking accidents claim a small percentage of the total number of traffic collisions each year, the truck crashes that do occur can be deadly.

Semi-trucks are the “monsters” of the road, and because of their massive size and weight, most fatalities from large truck accidents are the occupants riding in passenger vehicles, not the truck drivers.

That is because cars, trucks, and SUVs are naturally vulnerable when up against a massive tractor-trailer. The sheer size and weight of the truck is enough to seriously damage even the safest rated passenger vehicles.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute, trucks can weigh up to 30 times more than passenger cars, and because they are much taller, smaller vehicles can slide under semi-trucks in underride crashes. When this occurs, the accident is usually fatal.

Another factor in truck crashes is the braking capacity of large trucks. A loaded tractor-trailer needs 20 to 40 percent more distance than cars to come to a stop, and that distance is even greater when you factor in poorly maintained brakes, icy or wet roads.

One of the biggest causes of concern in regards to truck accidents is truck driver fatigue, a well-documented crash risk. Commercial truck drivers are required to follow the federal hours-of-service regulations, but to drive further distances in less time, many truck drivers violate these rules intentionally or at the insistence or pressure of their employer to meet deadlines.

When Truck Driver Negligence Leads to Crashes

Truck drivers are human, which means they are prone to errors in judgment and engaging in risky driving behaviors. When a truck accident is caused by truck driver negligence, it can usually be traced back to one of the following causes:

  • Speeding
  • Aggressive driving
  • Trucker is unfamiliar with the road
  • Trucker is a new and inexperienced truck driver
  • Truck driver fatigue (e.g. falling asleep at the wheel)
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including sedating medications)
  • Texting while driving (this is illegal for truck drivers in all states)
  • Driving with an improperly or overloaded truck
  • Driving with a poorly maintained vehicle

Personal injury cases involving trucks generally have more parties that could potentially be held liable. For example, if you were involved in a crash with a commercial truck driver who was driving fatigued and over the standard trucking hours due to pressures from their employer to meet a specific deadline, the truck driver and the company they would for could be held liable. Because there are so many parties involved, this type of litigation can be quite complex. With the help of a knowledgeable Atlanta auto accident lawyer, you could recover compensation for your medical bills, loss of pay, property damages, pain and suffering.

Injured in a truck accident? Contact The Weinstein Firm, LLC right away to find out if you have grounds to file a personal injury claim for compensation!

Categories: Auto Accidents