Tractor Trailer Accident

It is estimated that roughly 500,000 truck and tractor trailer accidents occur each year in the United States. A tractor trailer accident can have devastating consequences for truckers and other vehicle drivers and passengers who are involved. This is primarily due to the high impact and scope of a tractor trailer accident that may involve tens of thousands of pounds of force. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, roughly one in eight traffic deaths involves a truck collision.

Types of Tractor Trailer Accidents

Some examples of how tractor trailer accidents may occur include:

  • The tractor trailer tires blow out
  • The driver has difficulty stopping, or faces increased stop times
  • The driver has difficulty steering or properly controlling the tractor trailer
  • Increased speed occurs when traveling downhill
  • The tractor trailer experiences break failure
  • The driver has difficulty steering after a shift in the cargo load
  • The tractor trailer overturns due to shifts in the cargo load

Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents

A number of human, environmental, and mechanical factors can contribute to the occurrence of tractor trailer accidents. It is important for tractor trailer drivers, their employing companies, and other drivers to maintain safe driving conditions and always remain alert. Following state and federal guidelines, as well as local driving regulations, can significantly help to prevent tractor trailer accidents.

Human Factors

Human factors such as truck driver fatigue, impaired and aggressive driving, speeding, and driver error can have devastating effects in a tractor trailer accident. State and federal regulations are in place to restrict the number of hours between driver rest periods. However, driver fatigue is still a common issue.

Environmental Factors

Vision-obstructing weather conditions such as hail and heavy rain can impede a tractor trailer driver’s ability to see clearly. Additionally, unfavorable road conditions can also create a dangerous traveling environment for drivers. Construction may also play a role in limited a tractor trailer driver’s ability to see clearly and make rapid decisions that can prevent a tractor trailer accident.

Mechanical Factors

Faulty equipment can play a large role in a tractor trailer accident. The cargo contained in a tractor trailer may also have an impact. Cargo loads that exceed weight limits may pose a danger when the tractor trailer is turning or traveling at high speeds. Additionally, incorrectly balanced cargo loads can cause issues such as vehicle overturn.

Tractor Trailer Accident Lawsuit

Tractor trailer accident lawsuits can be complex. Typically, a tractor trailer accident lawsuit involves several parties and various rules of law. Interstate travel may add complexity to a tractor trailer accident lawsuit. This is due to the fact that different states may enforce different tractor trailer laws. Individuals who are involved in an accident should contact an experienced tractor trailer accident lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer with particular knowledge and expertise in tractor trailer accidents can help navigate the complexities of each unique case.

 

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Sources:

Thornton, Dorothy. “When Social Norms and Pressures Are Not Enough: Environmental Performance in the Trucking Industry.” Law & Society Review. 43.2 (2009): 405-436. Print.

“New Trucking Alliance looking to influence Washington trucking safety initiatives.” Logistics Management [Highlands Ranch, Co.] Jan. 2013: 16+. Academic OneFile. Web. 11 Oct. 2013.

Padilla, Marissa. “New Hours-of-Service Safety Regulations to Reduce Truck Driver Fatigue Begin Today.” Department of Transportation. U.S. Department of Transportation, 1 Jul 2013. Web. 11 Oct 2013. <http://www.dot.gov/briefing-room/new-hours-service-safety-regulations-reduce-truck-driver-fatigue-begin-today>.