There are many different types of trucks – tankers, 18-wheelers, box trucks, pickup trucks, and others. What trucks have in common is that they are generally much bigger and heavier than cars. The height, weight, and lengths of trucks are much larger than most vehicles. Trucks are generally designed to carry cargo and shipments. Some of these shipments may include hazardous materials. When trucks and cars collide, the car occupants are likely to suffer serious and catastrophic injuries. Some trucks just literally crush the cars they strike. Many car drivers and car passengers die when truck accidents occur.
Why trucks are hard to control
Truck divers often lost control of their trucks or fail to avoid collisions for many reasons.
- Trucks are much harder to drive and control. Drivers of commercial trucks are required to get a special license called a commercial driver’s license. It is much tougher to see what’s behind the truck and to sides of trucks than it is for cars. Trucks have well-known blind spots.
- It takes much longer to brake if a truck needs to stop quickly. Vehicles traveling 60mph are traveling 88 feet per second. Just one extra second can mean the difference between life and death
- Trucks are designed to carry cargo. If the cargo shifts while the driver is operating the truck, the driver may lose control of his/her truck.
Why truck drivers are negligent or careless
- Driver distraction. Truck driving is a difficult job. Drivers are away from their homes and away from their families. It is easy for a driver to become distracted while they drive hours and hours each day. Driver distraction includes texting while driving, talking on the smartphone, playing with the radio, eating or drinking, and other acts that take the driver’s eyes off the road and hands off the steering wheel.
- Driving fatigue. Many drivers don’t get enough rest. There are federal laws that mandate how many hours a driver can drive each day and each week. Many drivers push the limits of these laws. Some drivers exceed the limits.
- Pressure from the shipping company. Many companies put profit before safety. They push truck drivers to make deliveries according to unrealistic time schedules.
Looking at a GPS
Most drivers rely on a GPS to navigate the highways and to find the place where they will pick up or leave their cargo. Drivers who look at map systems are a danger to others on the road. Truck drivers should listen to but not actually look at these GPS systems.
Types of truck accidents
Truck cargo spills are especially dangerous. If lumber, pipes, or materials of any kind spill onto the roadway, the driver will likely lose control of the truck. Truck accidents based on cargo spills cause every driver near the spill to try to avoid the spill. Drivers who do not avoid the spill are likely to suffer injuries – as are their passengers. Drivers who avoid the spill may collide with other drivers or may veer off the road and crash.
Truck accidents include the possibility of a rollover
Rollover truck accidents are more likely than car accidents because the center of gravity of a truck makes it more prone to rollover. Shifting cargo can also cause a truck to roll over.
This type of accident is unique to trucks. Essentially the truck and the truck trailer rotate against each other at a 90-degree angle. When trucks jackknife, the truck driver is likely to suffer a serious injury. Any cars near the jackknifed truck are likely to collide with the crashed truck.
Trucks and wide turns
Cars that are too near a truck can be squeezed and crushed when a truck makes a wide turn.
Because cars are so much smaller than trucks, when truck accidents happen, the car may slide under the truck crushing the occupants. Trucks should have guardrails. Many safety advocates also recommend that trucks have side guard rails too. Even when trucks have guardrails, there’s no guarantee they will protect the occupants of a car that collides with the truck.
Defective truck parts
Trucks have many crucial parts. If any of these parts, such as the brakes are defective, accident victims, with the help of a Florida accident attorney, can hold the makers and sellers of the truck parts accountable for the injuries the defective parts cause.
Other common types of truck accidents
Many truck accidents are similar to car accidents. These include head-on collisions, sideswipes, rear-end collisions, and T-bone crashes.
Many truck accidents are due to violating local traffic laws. These violations include:
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Improper merging
- Failing to look before passing
- Reckless driving
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics
- Not turning correctly
Complications from truck accidents
When a truck crashes, there are some additional dangers. These dangers include the possibility of a fire or explosion from a ruptured fuel line. This is especially true if the truck is a tanker truck. Fires and explosions can easily cause death or severe burns. If trucks are carrying hazardous chemicals, truck accidents pose a severe threat to everyone who comes into contact with the chemicals