Large commercial trucks are all around us each day. Most of the time, we operate around them without incident. However, there are times when the careless or negligent actions of a truck driver or company can cause us serious harm. At the Dan Doyle Law Group, our knowledgeable and experienced team is ready to get to work if you or a loved one are injured in a truck crash. Our truck accident lawyers will investigate your case and work to secure the compensation you deserve.
COMMON CAUSES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS
Truck accidents are known to cause an insurmountable loss of life and property. More research suggests that there are more than 450,000 truck accidents each year and more than 100,000 people injured. To combat these numbers the federal agency, NHTSA and FMCSA have collaborated to identify common causes of truck accidents. Here is what they came up with:
- Truck driver fatigue: A large number of accidents that take place are due to truck drivers’ tiredness. It is because of this that federal regulations limit the number of hours a driver can drive without taking a break to 11 hours. All drivers are mandated to take a 10-hour break after a long shift. The purpose of this guideline is to help prevent driver fatigue.
- Distracted truck drivers: We all know how mundane and boring it can be driving on the same route. When drivers spend long hours on the road in remote locations sometimes they decide to multitask and lose their concentration. Trucks are very big and heavy so it takes time for them to stop should there ever be a mishap or reason to slam on the brakes. For many truck accidents, it was determined that drivers were found to be using their cell phones, talking, texting, watching videos, or playing games.
- Poor truck maintenance: This one falls out of the realm of the truck driver most times. The trucking company is mainly responsible for keeping up with maintenance and ensuring that everything is working correctly. When companies take shortcuts and delay checks this leads to malfunctions with brakes or the engine that will result in an accident.
- Overloaded cargo: Some may not be fully aware that trucks have a cargo limit in terms of weight and volume. An overloaded truck can become increasingly difficult to navigate when it comes to steering and turning. In effect, the chances of an accident increase under any difficulty in operation and if the freight are not balanced across the truck.
- Speeding and reckless driving: All truck drivers are held accountable to follow the speed limits in order to keep the vehicle under control. Once a loaded truck goes over the speed limit it becomes extremely difficult to stop due to momentum. If you apply pressure on the breaks at high speeds the truck can jackknife and cause an accident.
Other areas that contribute to truck accidents are out of the control of the operator. Weather and road conditions play a key role in driving a truck. When either of the two is in poor condition that makes driving far less easy. In both cases, the truck driver could lose control of the vehicle, especially if they are not properly trained to drive in unfavorable weather or road conditions.
Data shows that these causes for truck accidents are merely just on the cusp because there are over a thousand factors that can lead to truck crashes. The reasons listed above are simply what was found to occur the most in relation to any other factors.
TRUCK ACCIDENTS CAN LEAD TO DEVASTATING INJURIES
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), large commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when fully loaded with cargo. This is a tremendous weight, especially considering that the average passenger vehicle weighs just 4,000 pounds. In an accident with a large truck, those inside a passenger vehicle often suffer from devastating injuries. Our Allentown truck accident lawyers regularly help clients with the following in the aftermath of a crash:
HOW OFTEN DO THESE INCIDENTS HAPPEN?
The FMCSA says that there were around 148,000 people were injured due to large truck accidents during the latest reporting year across the US. We know that 4,761 people lost their lives in these crashes.
In Pennsylvania, the Department of Transportation says that the total number of heavy truck crashes in the commonwealth in 2018 was the highest total since 2014 – 7,336 crashes. Out of those incidents, there were 136 total fatalities. The PA DOT says that the majority of these crashes happened due to vehicle failure, including problems with:
- Tires and wheels
- Unsecured loads or overloaded trailers
- Powertrain failure
- Steering system failure
- Suspension failure
It is up to trucking companies to regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles to prevent these incidents from occurring.
Truck drivers also must be licensed properly. They should always follow all FMCSA regulations regarding how many hours they drive each day, should never drive while impaired, and never drive while distracted by their phones.
Negligent drivers and truck companies can be held liable for injuries they cause.
WE ARE READY TO HELP YOU THROUGH THIS
If you or someone you care about has been injured due to the negligent actions of a truck driver or trucking company, please seek legal assistance today. You may be entitled to compensation, and the Dan Doyle Law Group is ready to help. We will investigate what happened to cause the crash and determine liability. Our goal is to secure compensation for:
- Your medical expenses related to the incident
- Lost income and benefits if you are unable to work
- Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages against the truck driver or the trucking company
If you need an Allentown truck accident attorney, you can contact us by clicking here or calling 215-987-3730 for a free consultation.