Motorists who share the road with tractor trailers may become victims of truck accidents caused by negligent truckers or equipment malfunction.
Tractor trailers are a vital part of the American economy. Indiana residents and people across the country rely on big rigs to transport essential goods across the state and throughout the nation. While motorists may be used to driving alongside tractor trailers on a regular basis, they may be unaware of the dangers associated with these massive vehicles. Under the right conditions, large trucks can be deadly, and threaten the lives of other Indiana motorists on the road.
In 2012, motor vehicle accidents involving large trucks took the lives of 3,802 people nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Approximately 115 of those deaths occurred in Indiana. In order to reduce the large truck accident fatality rate, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration revised the Hours of Service regulations. These guidelines place limitations on how long truckers can spend behind the wheel at any given time.
Causes of large truck accidents
Big rigs, which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, can cause catastrophic damage when involved in a motor vehicle collision. Due to their enormous size and heavy weight, tractor trailers must be operated by competent, well-trained truckers who fully understand how to handle big rigs during various situations. When truckers spend too much time behind the wheel without getting enough rest, engage in distractive tasks while driving or choose to drink and drive, they put everyone’s lives in danger.
In addition to negligent truckers, large truck accidents can also be caused by the following, according to State Farm:
- Bad weather conditions. Wind, rain, snow, ice and fog can all cause high-profile tractor trailers to slide, tip over and jackknife.
- Poor weight distribution. Trucks that are not loaded property according to weight and density are more prone to tip over while driving.
- Equipment malfunction. Although trucks should undergo an extensive inspection before hitting the open road, issues with the brakes, steering system, tires or transmission can cause a serious accident.
Motorists may be able to decrease their risk of becoming involved in a large truck accidentby driving safely and defensively around tractor trailers.
Who is to blame?
Although most people point their finger at the truck driver who is operating the tractor trailer at the time the collision occurred, trucking companies may also be held liable. Not only are trucking companies responsible for ensuring that truck drivers are licensed and well-trained, but they should be confident that their fleets of tractor trailers are well maintained and safe.
Seeking legal counsel
Victims of large truck accidents may want to find out more information regarding their legal options. You may suffer from serious injuries or are forced to life with a disability because of the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company. A personal injury attorney in Indiana may be helpful in obtaining the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, emotional trauma, property damage and lost wages from work.
Keywords: truck, accident, injury