Sharing the road with large commercial trucks can be intimidating. While far more accidents involve passenger vehicles instead of trucks, the results of an accident involving a large semi-truck can be more severe due to their size and weight. A passenger vehicle weighs approximately 4,000 pounds while a semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and greater when fully loaded. It helps to know what factors play into why trucking accidents occur and how you can prevent them.
Fault of the Driver
Many truck drivers feel compelled to drive for longer hours than they would normally to meet a deadline or earn extra income. The most common cause of trucking accidents is driver negligence. Truck drivers spend most of their time on the road and as a result, they sometimes direct their attention elsewhere. This is also known as distracted driving. These long hours behind the wheel can result in truck drivers also driving drowsy, which can have deadly consequences. Accidents are also caused when the truck driver gets behind the wheel after drinking or while under the influence of drugs.
Not Maintaining the Commercial Truck
Another leading cause of trucking accidents involves the failure to properly maintain the commercial truck. These trucks are on the road for many hours, driving thousands of miles weekly. This wear and tear is hard on the trucks and can cause them to break down. It is the duty of the trucking company to ensure that the vehicles are properly maintained, including making sure that brake pads are replaced, engines are checked regularly and any broken parts, such as windshields, are promptly fixed. The driver is responsible for checking the rig at the beginning of every shift before getting on the road and submitting a vehicle maintenance report.
Failure of Trucking Equipment
If the equipment of the actual truck is not maintained and safe, the results can be fatal. The manufacturers for various parts of the equipment are responsible for ensuring that the parts are not defective or dangerous. If an accident occurs involving a truck, and it is discovered that the cause of the accident was a defective part, the part’s manufacturer, the trucking company and other parties can be held liable if an accident occurs as a result.
Poor Driving Conditions
Accidents also occur when driving conditions are less than favorable. Poor weather can really make driving a truck unsafe, especially if the driver is not properly trained to drive in these conditions. Inclement weather conditions can include rain, ice, or snow, which can make it easy for a truck to jackknife, hydroplane or skid, and it can also be difficult for the truck driver to slow down or stop when needed.
Cargo Not Properly Loaded
An additional hazard which can make it more likely that a truck will be involved in an accident occurs when cargo is not properly loaded onto the truck. Cargo loading is governed by industry-specific rules when it comes to how the truck bed is loaded. Restrictions exist for weight, length, width, height or size of cargo. In addition, different methods exist for securing cargo, depending on the type of cargo. Not following these standards can make the truck unsafe for travel, and the results can be disastrous, including cargo falling off the truck and onto the road, causing accidents.
If you have been involved in a trucking accident with an 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer or a commercial truck that resulted in damages such as property damage, injury or the death of a family member, you will need to file a lawsuit to receive adequate compensation for your injuries. You need to hire an experienced truck accident lawyer to help you file a lawsuit. In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove three things in court: 1.) The trucking accident occurred due to negligence/carelessness 2.) The trucking accident caused you harm 3.) You deserve compensation for the damages you suffered in the trucking accident.
Find Out How An Orlando Trucking Accident Attorney Can Help Your Case
Our Orlando Truck Accident Attorneys will help you gather sufficient evidence for court, such as police reports, eyewitness testimonies, expert witness testimonies, cell phone records, photographs and videos of the scene and any other evidence that will demonstrate negligence. For example, if you can prove that the truck driver was texting while driving by using his or her cell phone records; this will prove the driver failed to act in a careful manner. At the law firm of Michael T. Gibson, P.A. we will ask questions pertaining to speed, distraction and weight of the truck. Was the truck driver speeding at the time of the accident? Were distractions such as cell phones a factor? Did the truck’s heavy load contribute to its failure to stop? What is the maximum height and weight limits as required by the truck’s manufacturer? Were all safety standards adhered to?
Accidents involving commercial vehicles can be complicated, expensive and involve serious and fatal injuries. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident with a commercial truck, tractor-trailer or an 18-wheeler, it is important to contact an experienced Orlando Truck Accident Lawyer to help you file a lawsuit. We can help you obtain compensation for medical bills, future medical treatment, loss of wages, pain and suffering, etc. Feel free to fill out our quick contact form on our website to discuss your legal options in greater detail.