Trucks are an important part of our economy: they haul large loads long distances, are essential at just about any work site, and they even keep your favorite coffee shop or deli supplied every morning as they drop off fresh goods. Trucks are not going away from our roadways anytime soon.
Yet, as we all know, trucks make those roadways fairly hazardous at times. You always need to keep your eyes on trucks, don’t you? They are often so large and cumbersome that they cannot stop quickly, and they can cause an accident very easily, even simply by drifting into another lane.
In defense of those who drive trucks, they are much harder to control, due to their sheer size and weight. When cars, motorcycles, and even bicycles zoom around the streets, trucks are not always able to react as quickly as other smaller, lighter vehicles. That does not mean, of course, that accidents involving trucks are not the fault of the truckers.
Here are a few of the factors that make trucks a frequent hazard on the road, aside from their larger size and weight:
- It would be wrong to assume that all trucks are properly loaded. Some are overloaded, and some are unevenly loaded. This can create all sorts of problems for the driver, who might struggle simply to keep the truck on a straight path, let alone avoid a vehicle changing lanes, for instance.
- Not all trucks are well maintained, either. It depends on the company, of course. Some do not maintain their fleets as well as others, and poor brakes, poor handling and all sorts of other problems can make a particular truck even more dangerous than usual.
- Truckers often have to drive through fatigue to make their deadlines. That means that many trucks are operated by drivers who should be sleeping. Driver error is common among truckers, who believe that “pushing through” to get to their next destination is the wise choice, not getting rest when they need it.
- Not all companies do a bang-up job on testing their drivers for substance abuse. This is more common than you might realize. A drunk truck driver is, by sheer magnitude, more dangerous than a drunk driver operating a compact car.
- Truckers driving long distances are often both in a hurry and not paying attention to their speed. That’s why you find them in the center and left lanes more frequently than they should be. Truckers often drive above the posted limit, increasing the chance for an accident.
- Not all truckers are extensively trained to drive the particular truck that they are operating.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a truck, be sure to contact a truck accident lawyer. S/he will know exactly how to build your case by gaining access to resources that you do not have the ability to secure, such as safety logs, driver records, company policies, and inspection and maintenance records.
Another place to look is at the truck manufacturers. Trucks can, at times, be operating with defective parts that have been (or should have been) recalled. Your truck accident attorney will know if the truck in your accident had been subject to a parts recall or if there have been issues with that model of truck.
Proving that a truck driver was overly tired can also be a delicate matter. Truckers have long been known for falsifying their logs to comply with the law. You will need a truck accident lawyer to discover the truth in this tricky area. S/he will know how to access a truck’s “black box” (used in some models) and gather other pieces of evidence to prove that the driver was overly tired when the accident occurred, if that is the case.
As far as substance abuse, this will also require some digging. A truck accident attorney will need to gain access to the company’s records of regular testing of drivers and its treatment of those found to be guilty of substance abuse. Training of drivers is another avenue that your truck accident lawyer might want to explore.
Don’t let a trucking company or insurance company bully you into accepting a small settlement or even admitting fault. Contact a good truck accident attorney and do all that you can to establish what truly occurred on the day/night of the accident.
Your medical bills (past and future), possible lost wages and even your pain and suffering need to be compensated for, so contact us today to discuss your case. Don’t let a large trucking firm or team of lawyers intimidate you and cause you to not get the justice you deserve.