How Are 18-Wheeler Accidents Caused by Negligence?
There are few forces on the road that can match the powerful impact of a commercial truck. These trucks present danger to other vehicles simply because of their massive size. Even a slow-speed crash can have a catastrophic outcome for those in passenger vehicles.
Below, our Savannah truck accident attorneys discuss negligent conditions that are common causes of commercial truck collisions. If you were injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler, request a free, no obligation consultation and speak to a qualified lawyer about your legal options today.
While there is nothing anyone can do to change the weather, truck drivers are responsible for the safe operation of their vehicles at all times. Truck drivers must use extreme caution when weather conditions are poor.
The following poor weather conditions create an increased risk of a crash for drivers of 18-wheelers:
- Heavy wind
Truck drivers should reduce their speed when traveling through these conditions. If weather conditions become too dangerous, truck drivers may need to get off the road to keep other drivers safe. If a truck driver does not take these steps and continues to operate the truck when weather conditions are too dangerous, his or her actions may be considered negligent and he or she could be held liable if an accident happens.
Poor Condition of Vehicle
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires trucking companies to properly maintain the 18-wheelers in their fleet so they are safe to operate. Each vehicle must be inspected annually, and drivers are required to inspect their trucks at the end of each driving day. Maintenance for commercial trucks include:
- Rotating tires
- Maintaining proper tire pressure
- Replacing head and tail lights
- Replacing brake systems
Completing repairs and routine maintenance takes time, which takes the truck off the road. Trucking companies may choose to forego needed maintenance or repairs to keep the truck on the road and keep business going. If poor maintenance causes a truck accident, the company can be held liable.
Improper loading of commercial trucks is another cause of accidents. Trucks need to be loaded properly for even weight distribution, which helps prevent tipping and jack-knife accidents.
Cargo must also be properly secured so it does not fall off the vehicle or shift inside the trailer, which could make the truck hard to maneuver. A failure to properly load or secure cargo is a negligent act that puts the driver and other vehicles at-risk of an accident.
Driver error is a common factor leading to commercial truck accidents. Oftentimes, inexperience leads to the driver making dangerous mistakes behind the wheel. Driving a large truck while hauling a load requires specialized skills and extensive training. These vehicles need more space to come to a stop and it is much more difficult to correct an error in a commercial truck than in a traditional passenger vehicle.
Depending on the situation, the trucking company can be held liable for the driver’s actions because of their negligent hiring practices.
Fatigue is a big safety concern when it comes to commercial truck driving. Drivers are pushed to deliver loads quickly, so the company can keep things on schedule and not lose money. When a driver is fatigued, he or she may fall asleep at the wheel or have difficulty concentrating on driving.
To combat this danger, the FMCSA has strict requirements on the amount of rest drivers must get after operating a commercial truck. Drivers are required to keep logs of this time.
However, when running on tight deadlines, trucking companies may push their drivers to break these rules and continue driving when they should not. If FMCSA rest regulations are broken, the driver and/or trucking company may be held liable for negligence if it results in an accident that causes injuries to someone else.
Reach out to a Qualified Lawyer for Help
If you were injured in a wreck with an 18-wheeler, the Savannah truck accident attorneys of Roden Law are here to help. We work to hold negligent parties accountable for the damages victims have suffered and work hard to pursue maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Request a free, no obligation consultation today and our attorneys will review your case and inform you of the legal options available for pursuing compensation. There are no upfront fees and payment is only owed if we recover compensation for you.