Road accidents result in many damages both to the victims of the disaster and the vehicles involved. Some of the big trucks pose unique dangers on the road to the other motorists, and any accidents caused by them can result in significant injuries and damages. Because of the risks, commercial trucks pose, road authorities have come up with measures to help reduce road accidents caused by these trucks. Although most road accidents share the causes, trucks, on the other hand, have other unique reasons for accidents. Regardless of the cause, however, the damages are still significant and can be overwhelming physically and financially to those involved. Fortunately, one can get compensated for the damages suffered in the accident.
Speaking to a lawyer is essential to receiving your damages because they represent you in all discussions as you continue carrying out your other obligations. At Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, we have experience in helping accident victims promptly get their rightful compensation.
Some Common Reasons Truck Accidents Occur
As earlier stated, there are many causes of truck accidents that result in significant damages. Below, we discuss these causes in detail and how a driver can avoid them.
The tiredness of drivers causes many accidents. Truck drivers operate their trucks over long distances meaning they are on the road for prolonged periods. Normal driving with a regular car is often tiring, even if mostly is to navigate short distances. Many things can cause fatigue. When you need to focus on the road and be attentive to your surroundings as well as dealing with other road users, it can be exhausting.
Trucks are also heavier to drive compared to other types of vehicles. This poses a unique challenge to the commercial truck driver as compared to regular drivers. Because of understanding that truck drivers get fatigued, especially because of the long hours on the road, federal regulations have been put in place. These regulations control the amount of time a driver must be on the road as well as the ideal hours to rest.
Ideally, a truck driver should not be continuously on the road for more than 11 (eleven) hours. After such a long shift, the regulations recommend taking a break of not less than 10 (ten) hours. These long breaks are necessary to enable a driver to rest well and get rejuvenated for the next shift.
Unfortunately, many drivers challenge themselves to drive longer hours to get more pay. Truck owners also encourage them to work longer to maximize their profits as well. It is not surprising to find drivers doing 14 (fourteen) hours to 16 (sixteen) hour shifts. This has lead to some drivers sleeping on the wheel that often results in collisions.
Routine driving can get boring at some point, especially when on a regular route each day for ten hours or more non-stop. Some of the roads truck drivers use are remote, and they quickly get tempted to multitask while operating their truck.
A driver may feel confident that the road is not so busy they can use their phones to send messages or talk to friends. Sometimes, they get so involved in the conversation they forget to focus on the road. The lack of concentration can lead to trucks veering off the road, or sometimes, an emergency on the road happens, and the driver is unable to control their truck.
Most commercial trucks are heavy and big. When faced with an emergency, to control them may be challenging and often leads to crashes. It is therefore advisable to avoid using mobile phones as well as other devices while on the road.
Poor Truck Maintenance
The distance trucks cover and the type of work they do calls for regular servicing or maintenance to ensure they are always in good working condition. Trucking companies or truck owners have a responsibility to ensure their trucks are always well maintained for them to work properly.
Unfortunately, many truck owners and companies cut corners because they do not want to spend a lot of money on maintenance that eats into their profits. When regular maintenance is not carried out, some components of the truck starts to malfunction, the truck engine or brakes may fail while a driver is on the road. This will often result in an accident when the driver is unable to control the truck.
Truck manufacturers design and make trucks with a limit on the volume and weight they can carry. Some trucking companies focus on making more profits and not following the instructions on weight. They want to make one trip but deliver as much as they can in that one trip. When a truck is overloaded, it becomes more difficult to control for the driver and can lead to accidents.
Sometimes, the cargo is not loaded on the truck, and you find it is heavier on one side. When weight is not well distributed is also another reason that may lead to an accident when the driver is unable to control it.
Reckless Driving and Speeding
There are regulations on speed limits that truck drivers must adhere to. This is important in ensuring they can control them should they encounter an emergency on the road. Unfortunately, some truck drivers believing they are in control often disregard these regulations and drive at high speeds. This makes them a danger to themselves and other road users.
Recklessness on the road is also another reason for truck accidents. When a driver operates the truck disregarding traffic regulations is reckless and negligent of them. When a truck is loaded with cargo, and a driver goes beyond the speed limit and sometimes running red lights, the chance to cause an accident increases.
When the weather is unpleasant, every motorist is put at risk. Foggy weather or heavy rainfall can cause visibility challenges to a truck driver. This can lead to a truck driver colliding into another vehicle. Rains or showers can also cause the roads to be slippery. This increases the possibility of accidents, especially when faced with an emergency that requires one to stop, but instead the truck skids off.
Drivers that have not been well trained to operate in adverse conditions can also find it challenging and end up causing accidents. When the roads are icy, it becomes trickier to navigate the roads, especially when the truck is heavily loaded. Wet roads pose a challenge to truck drivers where when they try to stop, the trucks skid instead.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Some conditions on the road significantly increase the chance of road accidents. A truck can come across a road construction where the lanes have been narrowed. They will be required to drive through the narrow lanes, which may be challenging to maneuver, resulting in an accident.
Poorly maintained roads are also a leading cause of accidents. A truck driver can suddenly hit a pothole that will make them lose control of the truck. This can cause the truck to overturn or run to other vehicles on the road. This makes it essential for truck drivers to be careful when operating their trucks, especially on roads they are not familiar with.
The need in the market for big truck drivers is high. Many new drivers enter the profession and begin to drive almost immediately before familiarizing themselves with safety regulations and the routes. A new driver on a new road is often anxious and under pressure would easily panic.
When a driver is inexperienced, they often panic or find it a challenge to handle the truck they have been given to operate. Some drivers do not have commercial licenses to operate such trucks. This becomes more dangerous because they lack the necessary training to operate commercial trucks and end up causing accidents on the roads.
Dangerous Driving Practices
Commercial vehicle drivers are held at higher standards as compared to other drivers. Although they follow the same traffic rules as other drivers, they are required to keep an adequate distance between themselves and the vehicle ahead of them. A truck driver, just like other drivers, must use indicators when turning, use their rearview mirrors and keep to their proper lanes at all times. Some truck drivers fail to follow these rules and end up causing accidents due to their negligence.
Truck drivers aren’t always responsible for the accidents they are involved in. Several crashes have taken place because of the recklessness of other road users or regular motorists. Some unsafe practices of other motorists that result in accidents include:
- Operating their cars in the no-Zone area. The visibility of a truck driver is limited at the back or side of the truck. When another motorist drives very close to the truck, they expose themselves to the danger of an accident even when it is not the truck driver’s fault.
- Some motorists feel they can control their vehicles and will dangerously change lanes randomly in front of the truck. They sometimes underestimate the speed of the truck and end up being hit from behind.
- Overtaking is often another way accidents happen. When a regular motorist believing to be at a higher speed tries to overtake from the right while the truck is turning, they end up colliding.
- Some regular vehicle drivers fail to reduce their speed and give way to trucks when changing lanes. This often would lead to a collision between the car and the truck.
When other road users do not practice the duty of care on the roads, it often ends in accidents, whether with trucks or other road users. In California, every road user is expected to practice care on the road in order to avoid accidents.
The law forbids against drunk driving or intoxicated driving. Commercial drivers are not allowed to operate their vehicles with a BAC of 0.04% or more in California. Because of the higher responsibility bestowed to them compared to other motorists and the nature of their job, their legal BAC is lower.
Some truck drivers may feel they are in control and consume alcohol or take drugs and proceed to drive. When one is intoxicated, their thinking is impaired. This means that if they are faced with a situation that requires their quick action on the road, it may be impossible to react with speed.
The judgment of an intoxicated driver is also not as accurate as of that of a sober one. Making mistakes on the road when one is intoxicated is common. These mistakes often lead to truck accidents that result in significant damages to those involved.
Overtaking is another reason truck accidents occur. A truck driver would miscalculate the speed of an oncoming vehicle or try to overtake at a corner. This behavior often leads to accidents, especially when he or she cannot go back to their lane and the other vehicle is already too close. Overtaking at blind corners is very dangerous for the truck driver as well as to the other motorists.
Sometimes a truck may be well maintained, but mechanical failures happen when some parts are faulty. This may not be the fault of the truck owner or trucking company. Unfortunately, when taking your truck to the auto shop, it may be fitted with a faulty part that breaks down in the middle of the drive. This can cause a truck to lose control and collide into another vehicle, or even roll over by itself.
Some failures in the electrical system can cause a fire on the truck. If a truck driver notices a fire coming from the engine or the gas tank, he or she may panic and fail to control the truck. When this happens, it is likely to be involved in a crash.
Common Injuries from Truck Accidents
Truck accidents, whether by themselves or involving regular passenger vehicles, tend to result in more significant injuries than those between regular cars. In some cases, the repercussions of the accident can be life-changing. The cost of damages and treatment for the injuries sustained can be very high. This makes it necessary to seek compensation for the injuries one suffers following an accident. Some of the injuries one can sustain following a truck accident include:
Neck and Back Injuries
The impact of a crash can put incredible strain on your neck or back. The tissues and ligaments, as well as fragile bones, can be affected following an accident. Some of the injuries can be so severe that they will require prolonged treatment and rehabilitation to heal.
Injuries to the Spine
Injuries to the spine are very dangerous. Unfortunately, one can suffer these injuries if involved in an accident with a truck. When one injures their spine, it is possible to get partially or entirely paralyzed as a result. It is not easy to fix the nerves that get injured on the spine when accidents happen. The process of treatment can take a long time and sometimes requiring rehabilitation. When the injuries lead to permanent disability, the injured person will depend on others to do things that were seemingly normal to them before.
Brain and Head Injuries
Some head and brain injuries can be minor, while others can result in severe damage. When one suffers a traumatic injury to the brain, the effects can be long-lasting.
Some truck accidents end up causing their fuel tanks to rupture upon impact. When the fire spreads, it often engulfs the surroundings, and the victims of the accident sustained burn wounds as a result. These burns, when very severe, can leave a person with permanent disfigurement that may require surgery to correct.
The severity of the impact can result in a passenger losing their limbs. Amputation or loss of a body party can be psychologically traumatizing, aside from the physical trauma. When one is amputated, they may require prosthetics to assist them in carrying on with their life as they used to. This can be very costly for the victim and their family. To mitigate the costs, it is crucial to engage an attorney to help you get compensated for the cost of treatment, among other expenses.
These are also common in truck accidents. Unfortunately, these injuries are not apparent, and one can assume they are not injured. This makes it essential to get a thorough medical check after an accident to determine the extent of your injuries and avoid worse consequences later.
Broken bones, cuts, lacerations, and bruises
Some victims may suffer minor bruises or cuts after a truck accident. Other times, they may get their bones broken and require surgery to treat the injuries. The blunt trauma or force of the impact can cause severe lacerations and bruises that will heal after treatment.
Aside from injuries, a truck accident can result in death. It is devastating to lose a loved one in an accident. When this happens, the law allows the surviving family to seek compensation for wrongful death and the cost of burying the victim.
Find a Truck Accident Attorney Near Me
Truck accidents have various causes and often lead to significant injuries and damages. Sometimes, the cause of the accident may not be the driver, although most people are quick to assume that driver is at fault. When an accident occurs, various entities can be held accountable for the damages suffered. This makes it necessary to engage a personal injury lawyer that will help you identify the at-fault party and pursue your rightful compensation. Talk to the Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney who will help you get your claim awarded just like many others before. Call us at 424-231-2013, and allow us to discuss your claim.