When a large commercial vehicle collides with a smaller passenger car, the results can be catastrophic – especially for the occupants of the car. Heavy trucks can inflict serious damage to a driver’s comparatively small automobile and, more importantly, can inflict life-threatening injuries on a driver and any passengers.
If you have been hurt in a crash with a tractor-trailer or other large truck, the Savannah truck accident lawyers at the Spiva Law Group are here to help. Our experienced team of personal injury attorneys has extensive experience investigating these cases. We are ready to examine the cause of your crash and discuss your rights and legal options.
Contact us now for a free consultation.
Common Causes of Crashes Involving Cars and Trucks
While the circumstances of each type of truck accident are unique, the cause can often be attributed to factors such as:
- Driver Negligence. Coming in a variety of forms, driver error is arguably the most common cause of accidents involving trucks and cars. Perhaps the most pervasive form is distracted driving. Drivers often make the mistake of paying attention to something other than the responsible operation of their vehicle. Even if it’s just for a moment, distracted driving is dangerous. By using a cell phone, navigation system, playing with a pet, radio, or another device, a driver can crucially compromise their ability to safely operate their vehicle.
- Exhaustion. In attempting to transport cargo over long distances in a timely manner, the expectations of their company and their client can pressure drivers into spending too much time behind the wheel. Federal regulations are in place to prevent commercial vehicle operators from making the potentially catastrophic mistake of driving while tired. These regulations limit the amount of time a commercial vehicle operator can drive and requires them to log their hours. But pressures to deliver their cargo can cause drivers to inadequately or even falsely log their hours, at the expense of their ability to attend to the road responsibly.
- Inadequate Driver Training. Drivers of commercial vehicles must be properly trained and licensed before they hit the road. It is the responsibility of the trucking company to make sure that all drivers have been comprehensively trained, tested, and certified before they allow them to operate a vehicle on the open road.
- Neglect of Equipment Regulations. In order to perform reliably, commercial vehicles require regular maintenance and proper documentation of all repairs. If trucks aren’t inspected and repaired on schedule, a breakdown could occur at any time. Dangerous equipment failures such as brake and tire failures can cause fatal crashes that could be avoided by consistently following maintenance requirements.
- Overloading. Every commercial vehicle has limitations. A truck can only haul so much weight. Overloading it with too much cargo can hinder the vehicle’s performance on the road. Overloading can cause serious performance issues that affect the driver’s ability to safely brake and steer, which can ultimately lead to serious collisions with other drivers.
- Failure to Adapt to Road Conditions. A variety of adverse situations can arise that would require the driver to exercise caution. Inclement weather and road construction can cause a number of hazards, including slick roadways, reduced visibility, and unexpected lane closures. Drivers must reduce their speeds and cooperate with other drivers when facing sudden changes in road conditions. When an impatient driver fails to exercise caution in inclement weather or hazardous road conditions, they can escalate the situation and cause a serious accident.
Ways Car Drivers and Truckers Can Prevent Crashes
When a truck collides with a regular car, the results can be devastating. Commercial vehicle collisions are, however, potentially preventable by truck drivers and regular drivers alike. The most common cause of crashes is human error. All drivers share a responsibility to pay attention to the road, to avoid distractions, and to exercise caution and patience in response to unexpected road conditions.
Truck drivers, especially, are responsible for operating massive vehicles that are capable of inflicting great harm to others in the event of a crash. Here are some precautions that you can take as a truck driver to avoid a crash:
- Manage your time. If you’re making a living as a truck driver, you’re often going to feel pressed for time. The expectations of your company and your client can pressure you into spending too much time behind the wheel or driving too fast to stick to an unrealistic schedule.
- Stay alert. Federal regulations are intended to prevent you from driving while exhausted. Accurately log your hours and never drive while fatigued. Getting enough sleep and maintaining a healthy diet can also go a long way toward preventing drowsiness while driving. Plan your route in advance and be sure to exercise caution when faced with inclement weather, construction, or other unexpected road hazards.
- Know your vehicle. It’s important that you can confidently and reliably operate the truck before hauling a load. Before getting behind the wheel, go through the proper training and licensing procedures. Also, make sure your truck’s equipment has been properly maintained and that it isn’t being loaded with more cargo than it can safely carry.
Why You Need a Lawyer After a Truck Accident in Savannah
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you need personal injury lawyers with the experience and knowledge of truck accident cases to thoroughly investigate your truck accident claim. An effective investigation must take into consideration a number of factors, including the actions of the trucking company, the actions of the driver, the status of their vehicles, and government regulations for commercial vehicles.
When facing mounting medical expenses, lost income, and other unexpected costs, you have the right to seek fair compensation from the parties responsible for the accident. Fortunately, you don’t have to fight a corporate motor carrier alone.
With over 30 years of experience, the Savannah truck accident lawyers at Spiva Law Group are here to help you vigorously pursue the full and fair compensation you deserve. Contact us online or by phone as soon as possible to schedule your free consultation.