Truck accidents are not uncommon because trucks, otherwise known as large commercial vehicles like semis and tractor-trailers, travel Interstate Highways and rural areas daily. Large trucks mostly weigh from 10,000 pounds and above and are useful in transporting goods from one part of the country to another. If you see semi-trucks or tractor-trailers in Atlanta, they are most likely delivering goods like food items.
The size of trucks makes them dangerous to collide with, especially when the crash involves small passenger vehicles. Thus, it is not entirely uncommon for trucking accidents to have catastrophic and fatal injuries. Therefore, the best way to avoid the preceding is by preventing large vehicle crashes.
To prevent crashes of this nature, you must know the cause and take decisive actions to avoid them. This article looks at the leading causes of truck accidents in Atlanta. If you find yourself involved in a road accident, contact our Atlanta truck accident lawyers immediately.
What Causes Truck Accidents in Atlanta?
In 2020, there were 5,093 crashes involving trucks in Georgia, with 220 deaths and 2,595 injuries. Broadly, the causes of truck crashes are driver’s negligence and other human and non-human errors. However, when looked at extensively, some factors that contribute to truck crashes include:
Usually, trucking companies require their drivers to reach certain destinations within specific days. But this is not always achievable as several factors like poor weather and traffic snarl-ups could cause a delay. As such, drivers become pressured to meet deadlines and end up driving above the speed limit.
When large vehicles speed and overtake smaller ones at neck-break speeds, the cars may veer off the road trying to avoid them and crash. Also, speeding reduces reaction time, as truckers need adequate time and space to stop. A trucker who gets into an accident while speeding will like to pay damages for any injury caused.
There are three types of distractions common with all drivers. They are manual, visual, and cognitive distractions. When a driver gets distracted, the chances of truck accidents increase, as it takes a distracted driver only about three seconds to crash. Due to the size of trucks, truckers must pay attention to the road and driving. It also helps to look at the side mirrors to ensure no small vehicle is trying to overtake from the blindspot.
Driver Fatigue and Drowsiness
Fatigue and drowsiness are problems in the trucking industry. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration stipulates hours truck drivers should drive daily, they sometimes exceed the time. Again, this is so they can meet delivery deadlines. However, being on the road for too long means too little or inadequate sleep, causing fatigue and drowsiness. The two could cause the trucker to lose focus and crash their vehicle.
Driving Under the Influence
Drunk driving is a leading cause of accidents in the United States, similar to drivers of different vehicle types. In Georgia, adult drivers must have less than 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Commercial drivers, including truckers and bus drivers, must have less than 0.04%. Truckers who drink and drive would be liable for any accident. If their employer knew of their DUI history and still hired them, they would share the liability.
Failure to Secure Cargo
When cargo loaders fail to secure the cargo properly, it could cause a spillage that might cause truck accidents. When this happens, the negligent party would not be the truck driver but the cargo loading company. Our expert Atlanta truck accident lawyers can help you identify the proper parties in a trucking accident.
Defective Parts and Mechanical Defects
A defective part and other mechanical defects often result in truck accidents. An example is a defective brake part or poor maintenance. Usually, a trucker will not be liable for a crash caused by defective parts or mechanical defects. However, the parts manufacturer or the mechanic would be the one to pay damages to victims in such a situation.
At other times, passenger vehicles could cause the accident in any of the following instances:
- Driving in the “No-Zone” areas beside the truck
- Abruptly changing lanes in front of the truck
- Merging improperly into traffic
- Failing to slow down when a truck begins to change lanes
- Maneuvering to the right of a truck that is making a right turn
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