It seems like hardly a day goes by without the media reporting a serious truck accident. According to a report released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, nearly 4,000 people are killed every year in tractor-trailer crashes.
To put this into a sobering perspective, that means there are an average of 11 fatal semi-truck crashes every day in America. Read more about these shocking facts here.
If you have ever driven around these large, heavy vehicles, you know how intimidating they can be. From the point of view of a St. Louis truck accident lawyer these accidents are among the most tragic and devastating a personal injury law firm sees.
Read on to read more about the top causes of truck accidents in St. Louis.
1. Operator Fatigue
Most truck drivers are hard-working professionals who follow the rules and observe safety precautions. Federal hours of service rules set forth strict requirements for drivers, including the amount of time they spend driving on the road, the amount of time they are required to rest and sleep, and how often they should take breaks. Drivers are also required to maintain logs of their driving time.
Unfortunately, many carriers pressure their operators to break the rules in the interest of profits – pushing them to drive too many miles on too little sleep. When truck drivers drive fatigued, fatal accidents can happen.
2. Unbalanced Loads and Equipment Failures
Most drivers don’t even think about it, but semi-trucks haul tons of consumer goods, produce, and other items across the country each day. It’s important that these loads are properly weighed and distributed on a truck’s trailer.
Even a small shift in a tractor-trailer’s load can cause it to become unbalanced, leading to a serious accident.
Modern semis are also highly technical vehicles that require constant maintenance and equipment checks. Even a blown tire at high speeds on a busy highway can lead to a serious multi-vehicle accident. Truck operators must ensure their vehicles are safe and well maintained.
3. Bad Weather
Every motorist feels vulnerable when the weather is treacherous. Rain, snow, and ice can lead to a catastrophic accident on any road. When heavy trucks are involved, however, these accidents can be even more devastating. Truck drivers must be extra cautious in poor driving conditions.
4. Driver Error
When the motorist of a standard-size car makes a mistake, such as drifting into another lane, it is generally simple to correct. When the operator of a tractor-trailer makes the same mistake, however, a catastrophic crash can occur.
The reason is that the average semi-truck with trailer attached weighs up to 80,000 pounds. When these massive vehicles drive into another lane, an operator must usually overcorrect to get them back on course.
Taking a curve too quickly, driving too fast, or swerving the truck too sharply can cause the vehicle to become unbalanced.
Commercial drivers have also caused serious accidents by driving without the use of their front brakes, which increases the risk of a jackknife situation.
Read more about trucking accidents caused by driver error here.
Help for Truck Accident Victims with a St. Louis Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, it is important to contact an experienced St. Louis truck accident lawyer immediately to ensure you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries, medical bills, property damage, and other expenses.
You may be wondering if you even have an injury case worth pursuing. Some people assume their case is too small or too unimportant to merit attention. Don’t assume your injuries are minor.
Read more about how to tell if you have a personal injury case here. You may be surprised to discover your injuries worsen over time. If you delay calling an attorney, it may risk the very settlement you deserve…