Trucks on the Road -- a 70 mile per hour hazard!

There are an estimated 15 million trucks on the road in the United States and over 1.2 million trucking companies. Semi-truck and big rig 18 wheelers can weigh 75000 pounds or more.

Any vehicle accident is bad, but when one of those vehicles is a truck, the situation can get much, much worse. Trucks outweigh other vehicles on the road by several tons which means that any vehicle that gets involved in a truck accident will be far worse off. The total destruction of that vehicle is a distinct possibility, as is severe injury, or even death, to the occupants of that vehicle. That is why anyone involved in a truck accident needs to receive a lot of compensation to take care of all their accident-related expenses; that means medical bills, repair costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

A truck traveling down the highway at 70 miles an hour is hard to control. Accidents happen. Too often truck drivers are tired or distracted.

When these vehicles are involved in an accident with a passenger vehicle the damage done to the driver and any passengers of the other car are usually catastrophic if not deadly.

If you or a loved one are a victim of a trucking accident call your Florida Trucking Accident Attorney.

The Different Types of Truck Accidents

Any type of truck accident is capable of causing a lot of destruction to other motor vehicles and their occupants. The size and weight of the truck are the main factors of course, and those same factors mean that accidents involving trucks take a much longer time to clean up. That means they can also have the effect of inconveniencing people who were not involved in the accident at all. The following are some of the more common types of truck accidents; if you have experienced any of them, then be sure to contact Wyoming truck accident lawyer Kent Spence.

Rollover Accidents

A rollover accident is self-explanatory as it is when a vehicle gets overturned. Trucks are more prone to rollover accidents than regular vehicles because of the way that the weight is distributed. A truck rollover accident can be caused by speeding, and improperly or excessively loaded trailer, slick road conditions, a distracted driver, and more. Sometimes the truck is the only vehicle involved in a rollover accident, but many times other smaller vehicles can get hit by the truck during the rollover incident.

Jackknife Accidents

These are related to rollover accidents because they can sometimes result in a rollover. Jackknife accidents happen when the truck skids while making a turn, which causes the trailer to fold into the truck, like a partially open jackknife. When the truck skids it can potentially take out many smaller vehicles in its path, leaving injury and destruction in its wake.

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are when a vehicle runs into the rear end of the vehicle ahead of them. This is almost always due to the following driver being distracted and not paying enough attention to the road and the vehicle ahead of them. As you can imagine, rear-end collisions are far more devastating when the vehicle is a truck. The size and weight of a truck mean that it could practically obliterate the vehicle in front of it, leaving the occupants with serious injuries.

Under Ride Accidents

These are similar to rear-end collisions, except in this case it is a smaller vehicle that collides with the truck and its trailer. Since it is another form of a rear-end collision there are many cases where the driver who collided with the truck is at fault. However, in some cases, the truck driver brakes suddenly, giving the following driver little time to react. When that happens it is possible for the smaller vehicle to get wedged underneath the trailer. This can put the driver and passengers of that vehicle at extreme risk of injury or death. In fact, underride accidents are some of the most deadly kinds of truck accidents.

The Causes of Truck Accidents

In most cases, the causes of truck accidents are the same as the causes of regular car accidents: negligence. The negligence exhibited by truck drivers is often the same as that exhibited by other drivers, but sometimes it can be a little different.

Driving While Fatigued 

This is the most common cause of truck accidents because drivers often work very long hours. The rules of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) limit a truck driver's time on the road to eleven consecutive hours. Even if a driver follows that rule they still run the risk of getting tired and nodding off. It gets even worse when drivers violate the rules and drive for hours on end. 

That is because a tired driver is just as dangerous as a drunk driver, the reason being that their judgment and reaction time is seriously impaired. When that happens the chances of an accident occurring are greatly increased.

Distracted Driving

These days, one of the biggest problems is people fiddling around with their phones while they are driving. It is now one of the main causes of car accidents across America. Unfortunately, truck drivers are not exempt from this bad habit. Needless to say, the consequences of distracted driving are far worse in a big rig than they are in a regular vehicle. Accidents will be much more destructive, more vehicles could be involved, and injuries are likely to be much worse. Distracted driving is always bad, but it is much worse when a truck driver is doing it.

Reckless Driving

Truck drivers will also engage in dangerous driving habits like speeding or tailgating. Both of these are far more hazardous in a truck because their large size means that they are not as nimble as smaller vehicles. So if a speeding truck needs to brake suddenly or make an evasive maneuver, then it will be far more likely to cause a serious accident than avoid one. It goes without saying that a speeding object that weighs several tons is capable of causing a wide swath of destruction.

Driving While Intoxicated

Driving while intoxicated is bad because it diminishes a person's judgment and reaction times. That means they will make bad decisions or they may not be able to react in time to conditions on the road. That is particularly bad in the case of truck drivers because they need to be alert all the time. Alcoholic beverages are not the only means by which some irresponsible truck drivers will become intoxicated because some of them use illegal drugs in order to stay awake for long periods of time. 

Those drugs are usually stimulants like amphetamines and methamphetamines. When a person uses those kinds of drugs, they will often become jumpy and agitated, which means that they will not always make the best decisions. And when that person is behind the wheel of a big rig, a single bad decision can cause harm to lots of other people.