Accidents involving large trucks have a high probability of resulting in serious injuries, mainly due to their sheer size. Despite numerous trucking regulations intended to keep drivers safe, operator negligence remains a persistent problem. In 2015, 4,050 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents in Georgia, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Here are some tips for driving defensively and what to do in the event of an accident.
Almost all truck accidents are the result of someone’s negligence. Keeping yourself safe on the road doesn’t just reduce the likelihood of injury. In the unfortunate event of a wreck, any liability on your part can hurt your ability to recover compensation. These are common factors in large truck accidents:
Driving under the influence of alcohol. The legal limit of blood alcohol concentration for truck drivers is 0.04%. Alcohol can easily impair the higher skill set required to operate large trucks.
Driving while drowsy. Federal regulations govern the amount of sleep a truck driver must have. But deadlines, long shifts, and other factors cause many operators to break these rules. As with alcohol, lack of sleep makes it more difficult to safely drive a large vehicle.
Texting and phone use while driving. The rise of smartphones, apps, texting, and similar distractions has affected safety for all drivers. Truck drivers are no exception. It is illegal to text or hold your phone while driving in Georgia. Phone use of any kind can distract commercial drivers and result in unsafe driving.
Defective trucks and truck parts. A truck may be built with dangerous or defective parts, making the manufacturer potentially liable. Other times, parts that require regular maintenance to function safely are not cared for properly. Here, the truck company (rather than the driver) may be responsible for an accident.
Road hazards. Potholes, debris, and unsafe or poorly maintained construction zones can cause large truck accidents. Depending on the circumstances, you may have a claim against a government entity for failing to keep roads safe.
Common injuries involving large trucks include the following:
Brain and head injuries. These include skull fractures, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries. Loss of motor functions, vision problems, and memory loss may also result.
Neck and spine injuries. Herniated discs, whiplash, and – in more serious cases – paraplegia could be involved.
Fractured bones. In some cases, recovery from bone fractures may involve using plates, pins, and rods.
Internal injuries. The most serious of these include damage to organs such as kidneys and lungs.
Your attorney should be aware of all of the medical complications arising from your accident. This will help ensure you receive the compensation for medical expenses you need and deserve.
Because trucking is regulated by the government, a rule violation causing an accident will likely result in liability. These are examples of the most common rules that are broken when truck accidents happen:
– Tired drivers – Improperly maintained trucks – Breaking highway safety and traffic laws – Poor training of drivers
An attorney analyzing your case may review driver logs, maintenance records, and the crash report. In some cases, manufacturer defects in the truck may be relevant. Accident witness statements and photographic evidence can also be helpful.
Make sure your attorney is aware of all relevant facts in your accident. In addition to medical bills, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and property damage, among other losses. Trucking is dangerous work, but it’s sometimes more dangerous for the other drivers on the road. Drive with caution and contact the truck accident attorneys at Hammers Law Firm if you’ve been hurt.