Causes of Truck Crashes
Truck accidents are inherently dangerous due to the large size of commercial big rigs. Some of the more common causes of trucking accidents that we see include the following:
The federal government has recently published new regulations that prohibit interstate commercial truckers from texting or using hand-held mobile phones behind the wheel. Violations of these rules come with consequences for drivers, including fines and possible driver disqualification. If you were injured by a driver that was texting while driving, we can attempt to subpoena cell phone and data records to establish your case.
Recent studies have shown that driving while fatigued affects a person’s reflexes to the same extent as driving under the influence of alcohol. Staying awake for 18 continuous hours can have the same effect on a driver’s reflexes as having a .08 blood alcohol content level. Despite federal hours of service rules that prohibit drivers from driving too long on the road without sleep, truck drivers will often disregard these rules to comply with their employer’s directives.
Operating a large truck safely requires intense concentration. If you have been injured by a truck driver who was under the influence of alcohol, or any other intoxicating substance, you may be entitled to compensation.
Failure to Maintain Truck
Trucking companies and truck drivers are both required to adhere to a strict maintenance and inspection schedule. Federal laws promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) require routine maintenance and inspection to prevent dangerous mechanical failures from occurring on the roadways. Despite these laws, trucking companies often fail to abide by them to cut costs. Failure to maintain can result in brake failure, tire blowouts, trailer hitch problems, shifting cargo, and several other hazardous conditions.
Failure to Abide by Regulations
Although failing to adhere to any regulation is may be evidence of negligence, one of the most commonly ignored regulations is the hours of service requirement. The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that truckers should only drive a certain number of continuous hours. Drivers are required to log all rest breaks and time spent sleeping while on a trucking run. No one should be permitted to cut corners when it comes to safety.
Negligent Hiring and/or Training
If a trucking company hires someone that is not qualified to drive, they can be held liable for their own negligence. Trucking companies are required to perform background checks and drug testing. Not only are they required to do so prior to hire, but they are also required by the federal government to routinely drug test drivers during the term of their employment.
Poor Road Conditions
In certain cases, the government can be held liable. To prevail in this type of case, one must prove that poor road conditions, such as a missing guard rail, erosion, pothole, or faulty design caused the truck accident.
Regulations strictly govern how much weight a truck can carry. Trucks that are overloaded can cause tire blowouts and jackknife accidents.
Vehicle Equipment Failure
Truck accidents are commonly caused by failure due to a piece of equipment, such as a truck’s tires, hitch, front brakes, or back brakes.
South Carolina Truck Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Victims of All Types of Truck Accidents
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Columbia truck accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.. Call us at (803)-929-3600 or contact us online. With six office locations throughout South Carolina, we represent clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, as well as the towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.