There are over 11 million semi-trucks registered to operate in the United States. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has stated that there are at least 4 million trucks operating on the road at any given time of the day.
Semi-trucks are 72 feet in length when you connect the tractor and trailer. At full capacity, they weigh 80,000 pounds. When you compare this to the average passenger vehicle that is 15 feet long and 6,000 pounds, you can see why trucking accidents are so devastating.
Semi-trucks can also carry oversized loads, hazardous materials, and liquid loads. All of these special loads present additional dangers when they are operating on the roads.
Trucking accidents generally result in life-altering injuries for those who were in the passenger vehicle. Sadly, a majority of trucking accidents have at least one death.
As a victim of a trucking accident, you are encouraged to speak with a trucking accident attorney. Trucking accidents are complicated issues because many laws and multiple insurance carriers are involved in a single event.
Commercial Trucking Industry
The commercial trucking industry moves over 85 percent of consumer goods in the United States. Because of the importance of this industry and the need for safety for everyone who operates a vehicle on the road, there are many laws that regulate this industry.
Federal and state laws regulate who can operate a commercial vehicle, how much a vehicle can weight, how the trailer must be packed and secured when it has cargo, and even how many hours a driver can operate the vehicle before having t take a mandatory break.
These regulations further state that all operators must have a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) and must be able to pass a driving test to obtain the right to operate a vehicle. The regulations state that trucking companies must continue safety training for their drivers and that drivers must pass drug and alcohol screening.
When a trucking accident occurs, all of these laws must be addressed so it can be established who is at fault for the accident. In some cases, there may be more parties responsible than just the driver. With so many complex issues at hand, it will always be in your best interest to consult with a trucking accident attorney.
Important Facts About Trucking Accidents
Trucking accidents are serious events that change lives forever. Understanding some facts about these events may help you avoid being involved in a trucking accident.
- More trucking accidents occur on state highways than on Interstates
- The most common time for a trucking accident to occur is between 7 am and 7 pm on the weekdays
- The most common cause of trucking accidents occurs when the truck is making a right-hand turn
- Semi-trucks require additional stopping room and cars should make sure to keep a truck-length distance between themselves and a truck
- If you cannot see your vehicle in the truck’s driver-side mirror, chances are the truck driver cannot see you
Riding the backdraft of a semi-truck is perhaps one of the most dangerous things that you can do on the road. Many people have a false belief that if they catch the backdraft off of a semi-truck that their car will be “pulled” down the highway, and they will use less gas. Even if there is any truth to this scientifically, this is absolutely dangerous. If the truck brakes quickly, your vehicle can hit the rear of the truck or be sucked up underneath, leading to loss of life or catastrophic injuries.
Some of the more common causes of trucking accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy or over-tired driver
- Excessive speeds due to unrealistic delivery times
- Poorly loaded cargo that shifts during transport causing loss of control
- Overweight cargo that causes loss of control
- Mechanical malfunction of truck or trailer
- Inexperienced driver in poor weather or road conditions
- Being cut off during a right-hand turn
- Quick braking causing the truck to jack-knife
- Driver under the influence
There may be other causes that lead to a trucking accident, or the accident may be the result of several factors. Your trucking accident attorney will thoroughly investigate the accident to determine the cause of the event so that you may make a claim for damages.
The Importance Of Hiring A Trucking Accident Attorney For Your Claim
Trucking accidents are one of the most complex types of injury cases. Federal and state laws govern this industry, and there are multiple parties that are responsible for a single load. Every one of these issues must be investigated and addressed so that fault can be established.
The fault for the accident may actually be directed at the company that loaded the cargo because it was loaded incorrectly or not appropriately secured. The responsibility may be directed at the owner of the truck for not properly maintaining the vehicle, and because of this, there was a mechanical failure. It may be discovered that the fault is a direct result of the trucking company scheduling the delivery too quickly, causing the driver to operate the vehicle for an extended period of time or at an excessive speed.
Trucking accident victims often face extensive recovery periods and medical treatments for their injuries. The loss of income and other expenses can cause financial insecurity. It is crucial to establish fault in these accidents so that the right party can cover these expenses and losses.
Your trucking accident attorney will make sure that as a victim of such a severe accident that your rights are protected. They will make sure that you are receiving all of the medical care your care providers feel is necessary and that the insurers are providing you with all entitled benefits. Your attorney will also negotiate a realistic and complete settlement from the insurer that is in your best interest.
The trucking accident changed your life. It is only right that the responsible parties be held accountable for your injuries and your financial losses. If you or your loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, you are encouraged to schedule a free consultation with South Florida’s most trusted trucking accident attorney today.