Truck Rollovers Can Cause Devastating Accidents
Imagine you are driving along I-75 in Florida and encounter a massive tractor-trailer operated by a drowsy driver. The driver fails to reduce their speed and winds up rolling over onto your sedan. Unfortunately, this is not your typical fender-bender. The massive size of the big rig means your car is totaled and you suffer debilitating injuries including a broken back, torn rotator cuff, and numerous lacerations.
The scenario above is far too common. Official statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2012 show that there were nearly 4,000 people killed and over 100,000 people who suffered serious injuries in trucking accidents. For the purposes of this data, “large trucks” are considered vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds.
Fatalities in such massive crashes show a 4 percent increase from the previous year, and an overall increase by 11 percent in the number of car occupants killed. Tractor trailers and big rigs are more likely to be involved in deadly multi-vehicle accidents when compared to single-vehicle wrecks, In fact, 81 percent of fatal large truck accidents involved multiple vehicles, That is a stark contrast to 58 percent of fatal crashes involving passenger vehicles like sedans, SUVs, crossovers, etc.
Truck rollovers may be caused by a multiple of reasons. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Prescription/over-the-counter drug use – Drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol are a serious threat to other drivers as well as to themselves. Whether prescription or OTC, delayed reflex and response timings under drug influence while on the road can be extremely dangerous.
- Speeding – Nothing is more important than the life of a person. Reaching the destination in a timely manner should be ensured by having enough time in hand, not extra speed. Nowadays all tractor trailers are fitted with a black-box which contains valuable information about the speed and other details during the time of the crash, which can be crucial evidence in court.
- Faulty equipments – under inflated tires or defective brakes can be life-threatening conditions and drivers should always remember to check the equipments of the tractor trailer before embarking on long distance journeys.
- Unequal load distribution or overloading – Generally tractor trailers are forbidden to carry weights beyond exceed 80,000 lb. and compliance is checked at regular interstate checkpoints. However, many a times this weight is not uniformly distributed inside the vehicle and as a result of this skewed balance ratio the tractor trailer topples over and causes massive accidents.
- Drowsy, inattentive truck drivers – If you are operating a massive 18-wheeler on less than two hours of sleep, you are a proverbial ticking time bomb for potentially causing a serious wreck. Fatigue can slow down auto reflexes resulting in the trucker making poor decisions behind the wheel. Common examples include failing to obey the speed limit, following too closely, or failing to stop in time when there is traffic up ahead on a congested highway like I-75. Failure to control the direction of the tractor trailer in a timely fashion often results in huge crashes claiming innocent lives.
- Violation of service requirement hours – Strict compliance rules have been laid down for a commercial driver’s hours of service (HOS) by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. However, most drivers enter incorrect log data and drive for more hours than is legally permissible in order to earn some extra cash, without thinking about the effect that it might have on his biological cycle, and consequently, on his driving.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Today
As you can see, truck accidents can be caused by numerous oversights by the truck operator and the consequences can be devastating. Gillette Law, P.A. is here in Florida and Georgia to help. We offer a free initial consultation and work on a contingency fee basis, so you pay on a percentage basis only when we win your personal injury case.