Truck driver negligence can cause fatalities
18 wheeler accidents can cause a lot of damage, and even be fatal. They are often caused by negligence from one of the parties involved. Commercial trucks are some of the most powerful forces on the road, and when they are involved in an auto accident, they can make a huge impact. One of the main reasons why semi trucks are so dangerous is simply because of how massive they are. Even a crash that happened at a relatively slow speed could end in disaster for the passengers of the other vehicle.
There are some negligent conditions that can lead to semi truck collisions happening. If you were injured in a semi truck accident, you can reach out to our professional personal injury attorneys at Seattle Injury Law today to receive a consultation on your potential case. It is important that you meet with a qualified legal expert that can go over your legal options with you.
What are the top causes of a semi-truck caused car accident fatality?
Although drivers obviously can’t do anything to change the weather, it is the responsibility of truck drivers to safely operate their vehicles whenever they are on the road. When weather conditions are bad, it is important that truck drivers exercise extreme caution while driving. Storms, snow, heavy wind, fog, and rain are all poor weather conditions linked to a heightened risk of 18 wheeler drivers crashing. It is important that truck drivers are aware of current and future weather conditions so that they can adjust their speed while driving. Truck drivers also need to be responsible and get off of the road when weather conditions are making driving dangerous. This can help to keep other drivers safe. Truck drivers that ignore weather conditions that are potentially dangerous and continue operating their vehicle could be held liable in the event that an accident occurs. Unsafe driving is negligent driving.
One sign of negligence is if the vehicle that caused the crash was in poor condition. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), trucking companies must give the 18-wheelers in their fleet proper maintenance so that it is safe for them to be on the road. Semi trucks are supposed to be inspected every year, and it is required that drivers personally inspect their vehicles at the end of each day on the road. Some examples of semi truck maintenance include: replacing brake systems, maintaining correct tire pressure, rotating tires, and replacing tail and headlights. Completing routine maintenance and repairs can take some time, which means that during that time the truck will not be on the road. Sometimes, trucking companies will put off maintenance and repairs that are needed, just so that they can keep business going without a hitch and can keep that truck making shipments. In many cases, if poor maintenance leads to a truck accident happening, the company over that driver can be held responsible.
A common cause of semi truck personal injury accidents is when commercial trucks are improperly loaded. In order to achieve even (and safe) weight distribution, trucks have to be loaded properly. If they are not, then jack-knife and tipping accidents can happen. It is also important that cargo is secured properly so that it does not shift within the trailer or end up falling off of the truck. This could make the truck difficult to maneuver, or could lead to cargo falling off and causing an accident. Failing to load and secure cargo correctly is considered a negligent act, and it can pose the risk of an accident to other drivers.
Another common factor that is to blame for truck accidents is driver error. If a driver is inexperienced, then they might make dangerous mistakes while driving. In order to safely operate a semi truck that is bearing a heavy load, a driver needs to have extensive training and specialized skills. Trucks need far more space than other vehicles to make turns, and they also need more space before they can come to a full stop. It is far harder to correct a mistake when one is driving an 18 wheeler than when one is driving a regular car. Depending on the specifics of the situation, the trucking company might end up being held liable for the truck driver’s actions because of negligent and irresponsible hiring practices.
Fatigue is a huge safety concern when it comes to driving in general, but especially in regards to semi truck driving. Companies push their drivers to quickly deliver loads. This way, the company will lose less money and can remain on schedule. When a driver is fatigued, they can have a hard time concentrating on driving, they have a delayed reaction time, and they may even fall asleep while driving. In an effort to combat this dangerous problem, the FMSCA has put strict requirements in place for how much rest drivers have to get after they operate a semi truck. Truck drivers also have to diligently keep logs of their activities.
Sounds like smooth sailing then, right? Unfortunately, when trucking companies are dealing with tight deadlines, they might encourage truck drivers to break rules that are put in place to keep everyone safe on the road. This means that truck drivers might be driving when they should not be, such as when they are tired. If FMSCA regulations for rest were broken and an accident that caused personal injury occurred, then the trucking company and driver involved could be held liable due to negligence.
If you were injured in a semi truck accident, reach out to our experienced team at Seattle Injury Law today. We bring our many years of experience to the table and are happy to help you. Our primary goal is to hold parties that caused personal injury accidents because of their negligence accountable for everything that the victims have gone through. We want to help you get compensation so that you will be able to cover pain and suffering damages, medical expenses, lost wages, and more. When you contact Seattle Injury Law, we will provide you with a consultation and go over your case with you. We are paid on a contingency-fee basis, which means that you only have to pay us when you win the case.