TRUCKING CRASHES ARE NOT LIKE CAR CRASHES
There are special laws put in place by Federal and State Governments which regulate these large trucks and commercial vehicles and a thorough understanding of the complex laws and regulations relating to the trucking industry gives us a valuable edge. Our team will aggressively pursue the party at fault to make sure you, your family, or loved one gets the compensation they deserve for the injuries and losses that were suffered. To find out how the DOUGHERTY LAW FIRM can help you recover, contact us today for a free in-depth case evaluation.
COMMON CAUSES OF CRASHES
- Alcohol or Drugs
- Driving too closely
- Distracted driving, using a phone, GPS or other device
- Driver fatigue
- Failure to check for blind spots before turning or changing lanes
- Frequent lane changes
- Failure to use turn signals and improper turning
- Road rage or aggressive driving
- Unsafe and/or careless driving
- Violating Rules of the Road
An improperly trained truck driver lacking skills in defensive driving, handling the vehicle and other safety elements, is always a high risk to other motorists on the road.
Badly worn or missing reflective tape, improper or damaged lighting, badly worn or cut tires and braking systems can cause drivers to lose control and cause horrific accidents. All truck maintenance checks must be documented, which means a truck company can be held responsible for an accident/crash if poorly maintained equipment is found to blame.
Trucking companies and their drivers are responsible for securing their loads and properly tying down any freight that is being hauled. These are typically but not always hauled, on flatbed trucks. They can carry anything from concrete medians to automobiles, but they are required to secure those loads properly so that the load doesn’t break free and/or fall off injuring or killing others.
If you’ve driven behind a large truck before you may have seen a sticker that says, “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” This should ALWAYS be taken seriously. If you’re in a truck driver’s blind spot, they may have limited or zero visibility of your vehicle. It is NEVER a good idea to closely follow any vehicle, but tailgating a truck can be deadly!
Unpaved or pothole-ridden roads, and narrow lanes and/or highways without shoulders can make truck driving especially hazardous on our roadways.
Snow, ice, rain, fog and extreme wind require truck drivers to be more cautious, to drive slower and or stop. Drivers that don’t can lose control and cause catastrophic and deadly multi-car pileups.
Truck drivers forced to maneuver around construction sites by driving too close or on the shoulder of the roadway or in the median can easily lead to collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians being struck.
Not all truck drivers are experienced. New truck drivers have not yet mastered the skills necessary for safe driving. Combine that with truck drivers who aren’t familiar with certain roads are not prepared when they encounter narrow, curvy or rough roads and they can quickly lose control of their trucks causing them to collide with anything in their path.
An oversized load can create tire blowouts, cause the load to shift (causing uneven weight distribution) trucks to jackknife or otherwise tip over due to too much weight. This can cause loads to topple, send debris flying over the roadway causing other vehicles to swerve and collide.
Truck drivers not only have to worry about their own driving abilities, but must keep a careful eye on other vehicles on our roadways. Often times, other vehicles cut in front of trucks who need much more time and distance to stop than a car.
On highways, it may be tough to gauge how much room there is when trying to pass a large truck. Drivers should always avoid passing on hills or curves, and avoid doing so unless there is plenty of room to pass without causing the truck driver to brake or swerve.
Truck drivers can have a tough time making sharp turns on busy city streets. A motorist should never race by a truck in order to turn first, especially making a right hand turn which puts the car in the truck driver’s blind spot.
COMMON TYPES OF TRUCKS
These are the cargo-hauling trucks known to many as “semi-trucks,” “big rigs,” or “18-wheelers.” They have considerable blind spots and a high center of gravity that makes them prone to roll overs. This combined with the fact that many big rig drivers are behind the wheel for long hours, tractor-trailers can be extremely dangerous to other drivers.
A tanker truck hauls liquids or gases, many of which are classified hazardous materials. Due to their size and shape, large tankers are prone to rollovers. This can be extremely dangerous if the hauled liquid or gas is flammable, or if toxic substance fumes are released.
Flatbeds have a long open trailer to accommodate loading and unloading cargo. Flatbed trucking accidents often involve improperly secured cargo that becomes dislodged from the truck, hitting other vehicles which can cause massive accidents.
Usually run by private tow truck companies who inadequately train their drivers, these large vehicles weigh more than 10,000 pounds and account for a large number of accidents.
These vehicles carry our children and oftentimes unqualified drivers are hired, with a track record of moving violations, and these drivers should never be put in a position of trust and protecting our children.
Garbage, trash, and other work vehicles such as dump trucks, can be extremely hazardous to those sharing the road with these vehicles, such as other drivers, bicyclist or pedestrians walking in close proximately. These vehicles are often in residential areas and carry large loads of waste, dry materials, dirt, demolition debris, gravel, sand and other construction materials. The loads are often top-heavy causing a risk of large blind spots, tip-over, or falling or flying debris.