Truck accidents are a serious danger for all motorists and cause thousands of serious injuries every year. Truck accidents are responsible for 25% of all serious motor vehicle accident casualties each year. Every year around 10,000 people are injured in collisions involving heavy commercial vehicles with over 500 fatalities to both drivers.
Per mile trucks are involved in twice as many fatal accidents as cars, mainly as a result of the distance taken for a heavy vehicle to stop in an emergency. The lethal nature of accidents involving heavy vehicles is due largely to differences in weight and frame solidity of the vehicles involved. Trucks can be 40 times heavier than passenger cars, and in a collision, a car will sustain most of the change in velocity and subsequent damage.
The owners of heavy commercial vehicles are regulated and required by law to keep detailed records of driver hours, which are restricted, in an attempt to combat fatigue which has been discovered to be a major cause of accidents. These records may be examined by personal injury lawyers involved in a court action for damages for personal injury and often reveal serious and fraudulent violation of safety regulations. It is important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a collision to ensure examination and preservation of the records, which a trucking company is entitled to destroy after a certain period has elapsed. Without these records, it may be difficult or impossible to prove that a company has been negligent and is responsible for the cause of the accident and therefore liable to pay damages.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Trucks are large, powerful vehicles that can dominate the road. When operated improperly, they pose serious risks to the cars traveling alongside them. Many factors, including driver error, vehicle malfunction, shoddy maintenance and adverse weather conditions can result in a serious collision. Truck drivers are often tired and overworked, can have lapses in attention, or fall asleep behind the wheel.
Some of the most common factors behind truck accidents are the result of:
- Driver inattention/distraction
- Failure to yield to right-of-way
- Unsafe land changing or passing
- Following too closely
- Unsafe speed
- Slippery pavement
If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck accident that has resulted in personal injury or property damage, contact our skilled personal injury lawyers at Martin G. Schulz & Associates for a free consultation. Contact our offices today.