You might assume that a truck accident and a car accident are quite similar; however, truck accidents pose a much greater threat to U.S. roads.
A variety of factors distinguish a truck and a car accident from common causes to liability. Today, we’re taking a closer look at these differences and how they play into truck accidents.
Causes of Truck Accidents
The causes of truck accidents often parallel that of car accidents; however, some factors differentiate the two:
- Truck braking capability – According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Loaded tractor-trailers take 20-40 percent farther than cars to stop, and the discrepancy is greater on wet and slippery roads or with poorly maintained brakes. This can be a factor in truck crashes.
- Truck driver fatigue – Driver fatigue can affect any automobile operator, but truckers are among the highest group of individuals at risk. This is because they typically drive the maximum amount of time possible mandated by the government, 11 hours per day. The nature of commercial driving is exhausting, and most operators work 60+ hours per week.
- Improper cargo loading – Each truck carrying load must adhere to specific weight, size, height, width, and length limits. If mistakes happen during the loading process, the truck might be too heavy to operate properly. This could cause the truck to tip over or a load to fall onto the road causing a catastrophic accident.
Truck Accidents Are More Likely to Cause Injury
Since a large truck weighs more than 10,000 pounds, crashes involving them are more likely to result in serious injuries and wrongful death. The vulnerability of people traveling in smaller vehicles makes them more at risk. In 2009, 67 percent of all deaths involving large trucks came from passenger vehicle occupants; conversely, only 16 percent came from truck operators.
Truck Accidents Have More Liable Parties
Another key difference between a truck and a car accident lies within liability. It is not uncommon for other parties to be held liable for the accident. These additional parties might include:
- The trucking company
- The broker
- The shipper
- The truck manufacturer
- Distributors or retailers supplying defective parts
There Is More Evidence to Refer to in a Truck Accident
Trucking companies are required by law to keep detailed records of cargo volumes, vehicle weights, truck repairs, driver trip times, and more, so there is often more evidence to refer to in a truck accident. This evidence can help determine causation and liability.
Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a truck accident, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton is here for you. Our accident attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve and help you handle the aftermath of your accident.
We have offices in Orem, Provo, Saratoga Springs, and West Jordan, Utah. Get in touch with us today for your free case evaluation.