The freeways, highways, throughways, and local roads that connect our homes, workplaces, and shops makes-up an essential and indispensable part of the American economy. These roads are how we travel to work or school and then back home again. But, roads are also some of the main economic veins that permit goods to move throughout the country cheaply and efficiently. Most of these goods are carried by large commercial trucks like eighteen-wheels, straight trucks, box trucks, flatbed trucks, or many other types.
A simple fact of life for all motorists is that drivers in smaller passenger vehicles must share the road with these much larger commercial trucks. While in most situations commuters are able to safely share the road with large truck, the large size and heavy loads commercial trucks carry can make them less maneuverable and less able to avoid hazards or dangers. Furthermore, the greater weight of the truck often means that when an accident does occur, the injuries are often significantly more severe than would be found in a similar accident involving smaller vehicles.
If you have been injured by a negligent or careless truck driver, Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law may be able to help. To schedule a free and confidential trucking accident legal consultation, call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online today.
Why do Truck Accidents Occur?
Each and every truck accident is unique. No two accidents will involve the same vehicles, same drivers, or the same stretch of roadway. Taken a step further, it is also true that no two vehicles in exactly the same condition with two drivers with exactly the same physical characteristics or decision-making processes have occurred in the past or will occur in the future. For these reasons and others, every vehicle accident must be analyzed independently and on the basis of the facts uncovered through careful investigation.
However, during the course of more than 20 years of practice, it is clear that certain factors play a role in causing or contributing to trucking accidents more often than others. More commonplace reasons for serious or catastrophic truck accidents includes:
- Fatigued driver – truckers are often responsible for covering hundreds of miles in a single day. The failure to make deadlines can have dire financial or employment consequences. Unfortunately, industry lobbying has also put federal regulations like hours-of-service limits on hold for many drivers. A tired driver is a driver who cannot focus as well or perceive risks and dangers as quickly. Tired drivers significantly increase the likelihood of a serious accident like the one that severely injured Tracy Morgan and killed fellow comedian James McNair.
- Insufficient truck maintenance – While many, if not most, trucking operations adhere to federal standards and require routine and regular maintenance of vehicles in their fleet, other companies are less conscientious and may allow dangerous deficiencies to linger.
- Chameleon Carriers – Some regulated motor carriers who fail to follow safety regulations and end-up being cited for significant violations may decide that it is no longer worth maintaining their current name. They will reorganize the company and reincarnate as a chameleon carrier that attempts to cloak their noncompliance by disguising themselves as a new trucking operation.
- Failure to yield – Perhaps it is the size of the hulking behemoth trucks that makes one think that they always have the right of way or perhaps it is the slow acceleration of most large trucks that causes a judgment error. Regardless of the underlying motivations one of the more common reasons for truck collisions is the commercial driver’s failure to yield to oncoming traffic.
- Driver did not see the other vehicle – Trucks are large vehicles with many blind spots. These blind spots are exacerbated further when a trucker fails to properly adjust his or her mirrors. Vehicles that unexpectedly emerge out of blind spots are not accounted for by the driver and greatly increase the odds of an accident.
- Poor road or weather conditions – Bad weather can decrease a driver’s visibility and increase the distance necessary to come to a stop. Likewise, bad road conditions can also increase stopping distances or necessitate evasive driving. If the driver does not account for these factors, the risk of an accident is increased. These risks are further exacerbated by large commercial vehicle’s already increased stopping distances.
Rely on Experienced Washington County Truck Accident Lawyer Ken Kieklak
If you have been seriously injured by a commercial truck, truck accident attorney Ken Kieklak can help. We can stand-up to the company’s insurance company and fight for compensation for your injuries, and other losses. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call us at (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.