Why Is It Harder For Truck Drivers To Avoid A Crash? | 24/7 Support
It is harder for truck drivers to avoid a crash because:
- Trucks are larger than most other vehicles
- Trucks are heavier than most other vehicles
- Trucks are longer than most other vehicles
- Trucks often carry fully loaded trailers that, if they turn suddenly, pose the risk of overturning
As the International Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) explains, trucks are also less capable of braking quickly. In every sense, trucks pose a greater risk of being in a crash than smaller, lighter vehicles. When they crash, trucks also have the capacity to cause greater damage than most other vehicles.
The Size and Weight of Trucks Make Them a Major Hazard
Per the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the federal weight limit for commercial trucks is 80,000 pounds. This amount of weight is a major hazard, especially when a truck driver does not operate their vehicle with care. When smaller vehicles are crushed by this amount of weight, the risk of injury and death is great. It is Harder For Truck Drivers To Avoid A Crash due to their massive size and weight.
Truck Drivers Must Operate With Caution at All Times
Knowing the great risk that trucks pose, truck drivers must operate with the greatest possible caution. Drivers put others at risk of injury and death when they:
- Drive closely behind other vehicles
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving beyond their drive time limits
- Run red lights, stop signs, and other traffic signals
- Fail to ensure the safety of their vehicle
- Use a cell phone while driving
- Eat and drink while driving
- Engage in any other behavior that increases the risk of an accident
Truck drivers are not the only ones who can cause a truck accident.
What are the Other Causes of Truck Accidents?
In addition to driver error, mechanical failures, dangerous road conditions, pedestrians in the roadway, and dangerous weather can cause truck accidents. Liability for an accident depends on the cause. If you’ve been in a truck accident, a personal injury attorney can establish liability for your damages.
What Happens When a Truck Strikes Another Vehicle?
Three primary outcomes can occur when a large truck strikes another vehicle:
- Property damage
Property damage is a near certainty in truck accident cases. Injuries may be a high likelihood. Fatal injuries are certainly possible, though are rarer than injuries.
If you or a loved one have suffered any of these outcomes from a truck accident, then liable parties may cover your damages.
What are Recoverable Damages in a Truck Accident Case?
Each truck accident case produces unique damages. An attorney can review your case, identify your damages, and determine how much compensation those damages entitle you to.
Your recoverable damages may include:
- Pain and suffering: Being in a truck accident can cause recurring trauma, including memories of the accident itself. You may also suffer pain from your injuries, develop a fear of driving or riding in motor vehicles, and even develop conditions such as depression. All forms of pain and suffering may entitle you to compensation.
- Professional damages: Those with serious injuries often can’t work, losing income, benefits, and possible promotions as a consequence.
- Medical costs: Your medical costs may be a great strain financially, especially if you suffer serious or catastrophic injuries. You may get coverage for these costs through a truck accident lawsuit.
- Vehicle and property repairs: Liable parties may cover bodywork and other repairs for your vehicle. They may also pay to replace or repair other damaged property, like a cell phone and any other items in your vehicle at the time of the collision.
When truck accidents are fatal, victims may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death victims generally seek coverage for losses like:
- Pain and suffering
- The decedent’s medical expenses
- Lost companionship
- Lost parental guidance
- Loss of the decedent’s financial support
- Funeral expenses
Your attorney will work with you to identify every loss you’ve experienced. They will also consider future damages that are likely to occur.
Are Trucking Companies Liable for Truck Accidents?
They absolutely can be. Trucking companies may be responsible when their driver causes an accident. They may also be liable when they are negligent in their own right. Negligence by a trucking company can include:
- Hiring unqualified drivers
- Failing to provide safe trucks to drivers
- Failing to properly train drivers
- Allowing or even urging drivers to violate industry regulations, such as drivetime hours
- Failing to screen drivers for drug and alcohol use
Each truck accident case is unique. Having an experienced attorney to handle your case may allow you to focus entirely on your recovery and return to normalcy.