The Definitive Nature of Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Accidents that involve commercial vehicles and trucks can be absolutely devastating for bicyclists, pedestrians, drivers & passengers of lighter, smaller personal vehicles because of the sheer kinetic energy involved in the impact.
These accidents can often be prevented if the commercial vehicle operator or owner takes all steps prescribed by the FMSCA to promote commercial vehicle and road safety. The statistics for yearly commercial vehicle road accidents are actually quite alarming:
- Commercial vehicle and truck accidents increased government spending by around a $20 billion a year.
- 98% of all commercial vehicle and truck accidents are fatal.
- 60 injuries and 2 deaths are caused for every 100 million miles driven on US roads by big commercial vehicles.
- A single truck or commercial vehicle accident amounts to around $59,000 on average
- Human error is responsible for 90% of commercial vehicle accidents
- Yearly on an average, 130,000 people get injured in commercial vehicle accidents
The following are the primary reasons for the cause of commercial vehicle accidents to which you may unfortunately fall prey. Should this happen and any of the following factors are involved, you have a strong case for claiming compensation. A trained and experienced commercial vehicle accident lawyer can help you identify the cause of your accident and build a case for compensation.
Driver error: Human error is largely responsible for a majority of commercial vehicle collisions with cars, bicycles, or people. Often times, negligence or carelessness on the driver’s part is responsible due to a common error, being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol or simple exhaustion, for example.
Federal law clearly stipulates that commercial vehicle drivers can operate their vehicles for a certain number of hours on a daily basis. This isn’t strictly complied with, and duty logs are often falsified. This generally leads to overwork and hence, fatigue which leads to faulty driving and increases the chances of an accident occurring.
Inadequately trained or inexperienced driver: Commercial vehicles are often oversized, and their drivers need special driving permits to operate them. This makes them more challenging vehicles to handle as they need more space to park or make a turn. Many collisions happen when the driver isn’t qualified or skilled enough to handle a vehicle of this magnitude.
Cargo overload: Every commercial vehicle has a fixed maximum load bearing capacity. The vehicle operator is required by law to maintain detailed records of the cargo being carried and its weight. The rule of thumb is that the vehicle may carry the maximum load that its tires permit.
Overloading, therefore, adversely affects the vehicle’s performance, speed, and steering. Often it is seen that the tires of an overloaded vehicle have blown out when driven at high speed and caused it to roll or jack knife -resulting in a fatal crash.
Equipment failure: When commercial vehicles fall into disrepair, accidents happen. Equipment malfunction is often the cause of collisions or accidents when the vehicle’s safety equipment is improperly maintained.
All commercial vehicle operators are directed by law to maintain up to date records of their maintenance schedules, which may be tampered with or not maintained at all. Should equipment failure be the cause of the accident, then the question of compensation is in play, provided the accident victim’s lawyer is able to prove it.
Road conditions: A major factor contributing to commercial vehicle collisions is road conditions. When new roads are being constructed, driving a heavily loaded vehicle may be a hazard. Moreover, roads that have been narrowed to a single lane or are unpaved could spell trouble for any driver who is not driving as safely as they should or who does not recognize the new situation they are in. This is certainly true if they aren’t attentive enough or drive too fast through a construction zone, for instance.
In addition, trying to quickly bypass a bottlenecked lane in a construction zone by overtaking other vehicles on the shoulder or through the grass, if any, for instance, is another reason that accidents occur. This is a classic example of reckless driving.
Inclement weather: Bad weather conditions are also largely responsible for accidents involving large commercial vehicles. Roads slick from ice, rain, or snow and also heavy fog are potential death pits for careless and impatient drivers. Many vehicles can skid and turn over on these types of roads, causing damage to lives and property.
As pointed out earlier, truck accidents are of a severe nature, in most cases. Many of them turn fatal. If you have been injured in a truck accident or someone you love has had a disastrous truck accident, it is time to get in touch with the lawyers at Miller Weber Kory LLP at (602) 648-4045, or (855) MWK-HELP, for a free phone consultation. We will ensure confidentiality of all the information you share with us. Do not waste time, get in touch with us today!