Trucks are the physical drivers of local economies. They are responsible for transporting goods across the country to where they are needed, and they also play a critical role in completing last-mile deliveries. As with other vehicles, trucks can get into accidents too, and these accidents can be devastating due to their weight; a truck typically weighs about 80,000 pounds.
Truck accidents lead to severe injuries and fatalities in some cases depending on factors like how fast the truck was going before the accident and the nature of the accident. Below, we explore some of the most common reasons these vehicles get into accidents.
Poor Loading Techniques
Trucks have a very high center of gravity due to their height, and some are unstable due to their width. The high center of gravity and width means that any shift in the weight loaded onto trucks can cause them to tip over, resulting in rollover accidents.
Weight can shift inside a truck due to how it is loaded and how well it is secured. When loading a truck, carriers must distribute the cargo such that it is as low and evenly spread as possible. Doing so keeps the center of gravity low.
They must also use straps and other securing options to ensure the cargo does not shift in transit. If it does, it causes the center of gravity to shift outside the vehicle’s width, leading to an unstable truck that is more likely to tip over.
We can help you determine if the loaders were responsible for a car accident you were involved in, so you should talk to us immediately following such an accident.
Speeding remains one of the most common causes of vehicle accidents, including truck accidents. Typical factors that cause speeding to lead to accidents with other cars also apply to trucks. For example, speeding makes it much harder to stop a truck.
Considering the weight of a fully-loaded truck, the truck needs a longer distance due to the momentum it carries. If it needs to stop suddenly because something has happened in front of it, there is a high likelihood that the truck will hit whatever is causing an accident.
Second, speeding makes it much harder for a driver to react to what is happening ahead of them. The reason is that they have very little time to do so, as they are covering a very long distance in a short period. If the driver can react to whatever it is and swerve, the truck’s center of gravity can shift, and the resulting instability can cause it to roll over.
Lastly, speeding makes a truck more difficult to maneuver. Speed is especially dangerous around corners and bends, where the driver must keep the vehicle on the road. Considering that most corners and long bends are banked (they slope to one side), there is a high likelihood of the truck tipping if it enters a corner at a high rate of speed.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Alcohol and substance abuse are often cited alongside speeding as the major causes of truck accidents. There are many reasons why truckers drive under the influence of alcohol and different substances. Although illegal in many places, some drivers have inadequate time between shifts. If they had been drinking before going to bed, there is a likelihood they will wake up drunk and keep going.
Because they get little sleep, some drivers turn to substances like amphetamines, cocaine, and marijuana to stay awake. There are a few problems with doing this.
First, substance abuse leads to aggressive driving and speeding due to impaired judgment and the inability to gauge time, distance, and speed.
Second, all substances eventually wear off. As they do, the driver might become drowsy, putting themselves and other drivers on the road at risk.
Lastly, alcohol and drugs impair reasoning, motor skills, critical thinking, decision-making, and other functions that a driver needs to remain safe on the road.
You have the right to sue if you get into a car accident involving a drunk truck driver because they would be liable in such a situation.
Bad weather affects all vehicles, but trucks are affected differently due to their physical characteristics. Even though they are already much harder to stop than smaller vehicles, things get worse if a truck hits an icy patch. The reduced grip can lead to an accident, with rollover and jackknife accidents being the most common.
Bad weather also limits visibility. Truck drivers might be able to see other vehicles due to their tail and brake lights, but they may not see motorcyclists, cyclists, or pedestrians due to their much smaller visual footprint. In such situations, it is very easy to strike road users, especially if the truck is changing lanes or turning.
Truck accidents can be very destructive due to the vehicle’s weight and the speed they travel, especially on highways.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. You can speak to our lawyers so we can discuss the way forward.
Call us now for a free Consultation on (808) 745-1592 if you have been hurt in a truck accident.
You can also visit our office at 700 Bishop St, Ste 2100, Honolulu, HI 96813 to talk to our attorneys directly.