MONSTERS ON THE ROAD
Although semi trucks account for only 2 percent of all the vehicles on the road, they are the cause of 8 percent of all road accidents. This demonstrates that semi trucks and tractor-trailers can cause accidents with devastating consequences for those involved. It is the size mismatch of these vehicles – a fully loaded truck can weigh over 80,000 pounds, a behemoth when compared to an average car that weighs 3,000 pounds – that causes the accidents to occur.
Some accidents occur because some Semi trucks are loaded with hazardous materials can cause casualties if the shipment catches fire or explodes. Fires fueled by gallons of truck fuel burn up everything in the area, including other vehicles and houses.
Fog, snow, sleet, rain and smoke are all factors that cause bad driving conditions and that can cause truck accident
Cargo on semi-trucks should be distributed and secured so that it does not shift during the journey. Additionally the tailgate, tailboard, doors, tarpaulin, and spare tires need to be fastened down. Drivers are responsible for checking the cargo after the first 50 miles, and again after 3 hours or 150 miles, whichever comes first, and for making any required adjustments. Improperly loaded trucks tend to roll over or cause spillage on the road leading to vehicle pileups on the freeway and accidents.
Trucks are subject to rollovers if they take curves too fast or if the rear tires collide with any object while taking a turn. Tires on pavements can also lead to rollovers, as can jack-knifing and overloading. This type of negligence can and will cause accidents.
Lack of maintenance of tire pressure, brake and other fluids, lights and turn signals, windshield wipers and mirrors, electrical connections, steering mechanism, reflectors, horn, coupling devices, wheels and rims, and other emergency equipment can lead to accidents. Defective or old tires can fail or burst causing the driver to lose control and let the truck slide, stop suddenly, jack-knife or roll over. Statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) state that of 2 million trucks inspected on the road, 23.2 percent were found to be in violation of rules and regulations.
Rear-end collisions are common when truck drivers do not stop in time or if they underestimate the distance needed to come to a complete stop after the brakes are applied. Trucks need a longer stopping distance, 40 percent more, than other vehicles.
Truck drivers must meet rigorous standards to be fit to drive these hulking vehicles; according to the Department of Transportation, they should pass a physical exam every two years to renew their licenses, with competent medical examiners certifying them free of any condition that impairs ability to operate a truck. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required to handle vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds, carrying 16 passengers including the driver, or loaded with hazardous materials. The failure of employers to check credentials and driving history when hiring new drivers is a major cause for road accidents involving semi-trucks.
Drivers push themselves to reach destinations faster by depriving themselves of sleep. Inevitably, fatigue catches up and accidents happen. Some drivers with sleep apnea, narcolepsy or other medical conditions can cause more accidents.
Semi Trucks, are subject to jack-knifing, the situation that happens when a long 18-wheeler skids or loses control and the trailer and truck come to a stop at right angles to each other. Any vehicle caught in the resulting trailer whiplash is a goner. Jack-knifing usually leads to multiple car pile-ups and numerous injuries and casualties.
Risky driving and speeding to get to the destination are major reasons why so many trucks are involved in collisions on the freeway. Methods of compensation that reward faster delivery times can encourage bad behavior. Truck drivers have been known to cause accidents by running traffic lights, going over speed limits, and driving aggressively etc.
WE STAND UP FOR TRUCK ACCIDENT VICTIMS.
At Taylor Solano & Associates, we have the right skill set and professional expertise to handle your case. We understand your unique needs and know how to closely investigate these types of cases. We know:
how to look into the truck driver’s behavior and background
how to examine the trucking company’s procedures
how to determine if the driver was speeding or driving too many hours straight
laws that apply to trucking companies regarding loading, maximum load weights, truck maintenance and driver regulations
if operational safety codes were violated by the truck driver or truck company
If you or a loved one have been hurt by a truck driver’s negligence , you should call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.