Tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and other large commercial vehicles can pose a major threat to passengers traveling in smaller vehicles. While the typical, fully-loaded commercial truck can weigh 80,000- 150,000 pounds or more, the average passenger automobile weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. Because of the disparity in size and weight, and the basic laws of physics, collisions between passenger automobiles and large trucks are likely to result in serious damage, injury, and fatalities. Moreover, the size and weight of commercial trucks makes them a hazard when they brake and turn corners, due to longer stopping distances and impaired maneuverability.
- In 2006, commercial trucks accounted for about 3.5% of vehicles on the road in the United States, but they were involved in approximately 6% of motor vehicle accidents, and nearly 12% of vehicle accident fatalities .
- In 2006, one out of six fatalities in Georgia occurred in a crash involving a large truck.
Causes of Commercial Trucking Accidents
While tight federal regulations govern the activities of drivers, their trucks, and their cargo, these laws have often been breached in cases of accidents and ignored by many drivers in our experience. Common causes of commercial truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue due to too many hours on the road
- Excessive speed
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- Inadequately or improperly secured loads
- Failure to maintain proper driving logs
- Transport of hazardous materials without required permits and licensure
- Forced dispatches by companies on their drivers
Your Legal Rights After a Truck Accident
These potential acts of negligence- either on the part of the driver or any number of other parties- should be investigated in all collisions involving a large truck. Whether you have been injured in an accident with a commercial truck or are a truck driver yourself, know that you have legal rights to be fully compensated for any acts of negligence. Accidents involving commercial vehicles can be especially complicated, since multiple parties may be at fault. Trucking companies, employees, contractors, and insurance companies may be obligated to compensate for your injuries but will immediately investigate the scene, vehicles and witnesses in order to diminish your potential case and claim.
Contact Our Atlanta Truck Accident Team
When Childers, Schlueter & Smith attorneys represent your case, we will work to identify potential defendants and investigate all possible causes of fault to ensure maximum reward for your hardship and injuries. Contact our Atlanta truck accident firm by submitting your information through the form on this page, or by calling us at 404-419-9500.
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