According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 4,761 fatalities due to accidents involving large trucks in 2017. This is the highest number of people killed in this type of accident in the most recent 10-year period. With this number on the rise, it is important to understand exactly what causes these accidents.
Causes of Accidents Involving Large Trucks in Atlanta
While a large variety of factors can contribute to large truck accidents, the following are common causes:
- Driving too fast for the current conditions – This factor was involved in many accidents according to many police reports. This may be in part because even if a large truck attempts to stop, their heavy load may keep them from stopping in time to prevent an accident.
- Straying from their own traffic lane – This is not any more attributable to large truck drivers than any other type of vehicle but is still a cause of accidents among large trucks. Any time a vehicle veers out of their own lane, or off the edge of the road, there is potential for an accident.
- Driver errors – This may include mistakes such as failing to watch their surroundings appropriately or following too closely. It may also include distracted driving. Maybe they were talking on a cell phone or radio. Regardless of the cause, an error by a large truck driver could be fatal. .
- Driver fatigue – Truck drivers spend a lot of time driving and sometimes very little time sleeping. Current laws allow a truck driver to spend 11 hours driving while being on duty 14 hours followed by at least 10 hours of rest. However, these laws aren’t always followed exactly and can cause accidents that result in numerous deaths.
Of course, not all large truck accidents may be the direct fault of the driver. The accident could have been caused by a variety of other things as well. An average large truck weighs as much as 80,000 pounds, and if they malfunction, the outcome could be tragic. This means that mechanical malfunctions can cause plenty of problems.
- Mechanical violations – Large truck drivers are required by law to inspect their vehicles regularly. Failing to do so could result in accidents that might otherwise have been prevented. Doing the required inspections may allow the vehicle to be taken out of service before it caused an accident.
- Brakes and Steering – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that it takes 20 to 40 percent more distance for large trucks to stop compared to passenger vehicles. This means that if the braking system in large truck malfunctions, it could be even more of an issue. A steering system malfunction can also cause a disaster.
- Defective Parts – Even if a truck driver ensures their rig appears to be in top shape, they may not know that their truck has a defective part. A defective part may have been incorrectly manufactured or designed and they may not know it until the part actually malfunctions.
Contact an Experienced Atlanta Trucking Attorney Today
If you have been in an accident involving a large truck, you likely suffered serious injuries. The Atlanta Trucking Accident attorneys at Council & Associates, LLC can ensure that your rights are protected and help you get the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.