Tractor-trailers carry heavy and bulky loads all around the country. These loads must be all secured properly. A trucker’s failure to secure them can lead to critical safety incidents.
Several things can go wrong when an 18-wheeler’s load is improperly secured. Innocent motorists around the tractor-trailer may suffer injuries, some of which might be fatal.
What can happen when a load isn’t secured?
An improperly secured load can cause the entire rig to shift. There’s also a chance that the cargo may roll or fly off the trailer. It can then strike another vehicle or land in the roadway, becoming a hazard to other motorists.
Truckers should ensure that they follow the necessary protocol when securing each of their loads. They should even visually inspect a load that a third party secures to ensure that it was done properly.
Can a properly secured load cause problems?
Properly secured loads can also cause issues for truckers. This is often the case if the load is too heavy for the trailer or rig. Tractor-trailers that have heavy loads may have issues stopping.
Heavier loads require a longer stopping distance, so truckers have to consider that when they’re driving. Some truckers, including those who haul tankers, also have to determine how their driving and road conditions will impact their liquid loads.
Anyone who’s struck by a tractor-trailer should ensure they get medical attention right away. The victim in such an incident might opt to pursue a claim for compensation when negligence is the cause of the crash. They can seek damages for things like medical bills and other expenses related to the crash.
One of the most important safety rules about commercial trucks is to give them extra space. Big vehicles take longer to change their speed than smaller vehicles, whether they need to speed up or stop. Giving twice as much space between your bumper and theirs when you merge reduces the chances that they will hit you after you turn or merge in front of them.
That extra space is also very important for the prevention of serious collisions. Commercial trucks have blind spots that can put other drivers in extreme danger on the road.
Commercial drivers usually can’t see the people directly around their vehicle
The large blind spots around commercial trucks directly contribute to preventable collisions that can claim people’s lives. Generally, drivers need to stay at least the same distance as the length of the trailer from the back of a commercial truck. It’s also crucial that they avoid driving directly to the left of the trailer or in the two lanes to the right of the trailer. The larger blind spot on the right is why the rule is to pass big trucks on the left.
When drivers wind up in those blind spots, they are at increased risk of a crash with a commercial vehicle. The bigger vehicle could merge or turn and strike a passenger vehicle that the commercial driver is unable to see. In some cases, being in a truck blind spot might lead to a tragic underride crash where the passenger vehicle winds up under the trailer of the commercial vehicle.
Learning about and respecting the blind spots around big trucks could help you avoid becoming a victim of a commercial vehicle crash.
If you ever watch passenger car drivers on city streets or the interstate, you’ll notice that many of them don’t hesitate to pull in tight on tractor-trailers just like they do with fellow automobiles.
This tactic is dangerous when passenger car drivers do this to one another, and it’s even more so when cars do it to truckers. You might ask why. It has a lot to do with how long it takes truckers to come to a full stop after applying their brakes.
Factors that affect truck braking
Various factors may affect how long it takes for a trucker to reduce their speed after applying their brakes. One such factor is vehicle weight. Tractor-trailers often weigh as much as 10,000 pounds, which is between 20 and 30 times the weight of the average passenger cards. That weight difference affects how quickly a truck can both maneuver and stop.
Road conditions and speed also impact braking speed. A truck traveling 55 miles per hour mph along dry roadways takes on average 216 feet to reach a full stop. Of course, less than optimal roadways and truck weight can affect stopping speeds. Perception and reaction times, or when a trucker notes the need to stop and when they apply the brake, affect how long it takes a trucker to reduce their speed to zero.
Fatigue is another major factor in braking delays. Federal regulations limit how many hours per day a trucker can operate their tractor-trailer, yet fatigued driving affects braking response times and thus can cause crashes. In fact, studies show that truckers who spend more than eight hours of driving time without a break are twice as likely to get into a crash.
Options if you suffer injuries or lose a loved one in a crash
Of fatal crashes between large trucks and passenger vehicles, at least 96% of those result in the passenger car driver’s death. Georgia law may allow you to recover compensation if a negligent trucker causes you to suffer serious injuries or a loved one dies at their hands in a crash.
When there is a mechanical problem with a vehicle, it could put the driver at risk. If they cannot stop or cannot turn the wheel, then they could lose control and collide with others.
That may be what happened in this case in Macon, where the son of a former Macon police chief crashed on Interstate 75. The man, a Georgia Department of Public Safety officer, was traveling on the highway at around 5:00 p.m., when he suddenly lost control of his vehicle and went off the road.
He hit a guardrail before re-entering the southbound lanes. Unfortunately, a tractor-trailer then hit him.
The man had to be rushed to the hospital for medical treatment, but there was no word on the severity of his condition. However, the news release did indicate that the crash could have been the result of a mechanical failure in the right front wheel.
When a mechanical failure causes a crash, there is a chance that it is going to be the result of a defect or problem with the maintenance of the vehicle. If the vehicle recently had work performed on it, then the mechanic who did the work could be liable for the injuries the person suffered as a result of faulty work or parts. If the problem was part of a recall or was an issue with the design of the vehicle, then the manufacturer could even be held liable for the injuries suffered.
It’s important for drivers to know their rights if their vehicles have defects or issues that lead to crashes. They may have a right to pursue a claim for compensation.
All the eastbound traffic lanes of Interstate 75 were closed after a recent accident to allow the Georgia Department of Transportation to complete its investigation. Truck accidents such as this one place the safety of those occupying small vehicles at risk. One person was hospitalized in this crash, which occurred on the Hartley Bridge Road on a recent Friday afternoon.
Reportedly, deputies responded to the accident scene shortly after 3 p.m. after a tractor-trailer damaged the bridge. The load that the truck was hauling included a piece of equipment that was too large to navigate under the bridge safely. Without checking whether the load could pass under the bridge, the driver proceeded to pass through, smashing the equipment into the bridge and causing significant damage.
Although the trucker did not suffer any injuries, the driver of a car behind his truck was hurt by pieces falling from the damaged bridge. The 55-year-old driver of that car was transported to a hospital for treatment of the injuries she suffered when the debris struck her car. Fortunately, her injuries were not life-threatening.
Even injuries that are not life-threatening can have significant financial consequences. Along with doctors’ and hospital bills, there will likely be property damage, and lost wages can adversely affect the finances of victims of road accidents. Damage recovery might be possible through the civil justice system of Georgia, but it is a complicated field of the law. An experienced personal injury attorney can help determine the parties to include as defendants and then pursue the claim through the court system. There are usually multiple defendants in civil claims arising from truck accidents.
Authorities in Georgia recently reported a fatal crash on Interstate 85 on a recent Saturday morning. Like most truck accidents that also involve passenger vehicles, the occupant in the car had very little chance of surviving. In this case, however, the truck operator also died.
According to police, the accident occurred shortly before 8 a.m. on the northbound side of the interstate. A preliminary accident report indicates that a 31-year-old woman, who was heading north, was stopped due to an earlier collision. While her car was stationary, a massive 8,500-gallon fuel tanker, also northbound, smashed into the rear of her vehicle.
The tanker flipped over upon impact, and a massive fire erupted. Flames engulfed both the car and the tanker, trapping the drivers inside. The truck operator was identified as a 44-year-old Snellville resident. The police and emergency workers arrived to find both vehicles burning with no possibility of saving the occupants.
The surviving family members of deceased victims of truck accidents are typically entitled to pursue claims for financial relief through the civil justice system of Georgia. These generally are challenging legal proceedings, and a case such as this one, which also involved vehicles of an earlier crash, could be even more complicated. The most appropriate step would be to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney. Legal counsel can launch an independent investigation to determine negligence and who to name as defendants when filing a lawsuit. These could include the employer of the deceased trucker, the vehicle manufacturer or even the mechanic who serviced the tanker.
The Georgia State Patrol reported an incident that sent two big-rig operators to hospitals. As with many truck accidents, cargo loads were spilled, blocking all the traffic lanes of Interstate 20. GSP says the crash, which was initially believed to have resulted in a fatality, occurred on a recent Friday.
According to a preliminary accident report, one truck was parked in the striped area between the travel lanes and the exit lane. When a second tractor-trailer attempted to enter the exit lane, his vehicle struck the stationary truck’s rear end. The impact was enormous, causing the chassis and body of the truck that was hit to separate.
Authorities say the driver of the truck that was illegally parked in the gore was asleep in the truck, and he became trapped when his vehicle broke apart. He was extricated and airlifted to a hospital for treatment of serious injuries. The other driver was also transported to a hospital, but his injuries were less severe.
Truck accidents often cause severe, and even fatal injuries. Truckers can typically recover some expenses through their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance coverage, but when a third party’s negligence is to blame, there might also be grounds for a civil lawsuit. With the support and guidance of an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney, both workers’ comp benefits and third party claims for monetary damages may be achieved. A third party claim could include restitution for pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment and other emotional losses. Such a lawsuit can be filed in addition to a workers’ compensation benefits claim.
Sharing the busy Georgia highways with big rigs like semis and tractor-trailers can be harrowing experiences. Pedestrians, drivers of passenger vehicles, cyclists and motorcyclists can take precautions to avoid being involved in truck accidents. The best way to do this might be to become familiar with the challenges faced by the drivers of these large vehicles.
Tall vehicles roll over much more easily than cars and other small vehicles because their center of gravity is much higher. For this reason, truckers have to navigate ramps and curves at much lower speeds, often causing impatient drivers of cars to make unsafe passes. When commercial vehicles travel at the allowed speed they typically generate gusts of wind that can push smaller cars into adjacent lanes, and the force of the wind they generate can even pull cars under trucks with high ground clearances.
The sheer mass and size of big rigs compared to other vehicles are enough to cause catastrophic or fatal injuries to other road users. Safety authorities say large trucks could weigh 20 to 30 times more than passenger cars. This significantly increases the risks faced by crash victims. Most truck operators are properly trained and responsible drivers who recognize the challenges posed by the massive trucks when they accelerate, brake and maneuver their vehicles when sharing the roads with passenger cars.
However, that is not always the case, and victims of truck accidents that were caused by negligent truckers are typically entitled to seek recovery of damages through the Georgia civil justice system. An experienced personal injury attorney can be an invaluable source of support and guidance throughout ensuing legal proceedings. Not only can financial damages like medical expenses and lost income be recovered, but also emotional harm such as pain and suffering, lost life enjoyment and more.
Sharing the Georgia highways with big rigs makes occupants of passenger vehicles exceptionally vulnerable. Even those who comply with all the rules of the road could suffer life-changing or even fatal injuries in truck accidents. Unfortunately, not all commercial truck drivers travel at speeds and following distances that will allow them to stop safely in an emergency.
The apparent disregard of road safety led to a truck operator’s arrest after a fiery crash that caused the deaths of four people. According to an accident report, the incident occurred shortly after noon on a recent Thursday. Traffic slowed down on Interstate 75 and the 39-year-old out-of-state operator of a tractor-trailer traveled too fast to react in time.
The big rig slammed into a pickup truck hauling a trailer that was at the back of the pileup. The impact sent the pickup into the rear of another rig, crushing it between the two massive trucks. The collision caused flames to erupt and engulf the pickup truck and the big rig that was out of control. None of the four occupants of the pickup survived the fiery crash.
Regardless of the outcome of the criminal charges filed against drivers deemed at fault in truck accidents, surviving family members of those who lose their lives can pursue claims for financial relief. However, any convictions or citations for violations that a trucker receives can be presented as evidence to prove negligence in a related civil lawsuit. Utilizing the skills of an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney can significantly increase the plaintiff’s chances of receiving compensation for both emotional and financial suffering brought about by a wrongful death.
All road users share the responsibility for safety on Georgia roads. However, drivers of passenger vehicles, riders of motorcycles and bicycles, and pedestrians are at higher risks whenever they are driving, riding or walking near buses and big rigs. Understanding the challenges that commercial vehicle drivers face might help to avoid truck accidents.
The four most significant threats faced by operators of large trucks and buses include the sizes of the vehicles, maneuverability, longer stopping distance, and no-zones or blind spots. Many commercial vehicles weigh 20 to 30 times more than passenger vehicles. For that reason, the consequences of an accident such as being rear-ended by a big rig are typically significantly more severe than in a tailgating crash caused by another passenger vehicle. The center of gravity of large vehicles requires drivers to slow down significantly when navigating ramps and curves because they fall over easily.
CMV operators also need more space to come to a halt, and cutting in front of them with smaller vehicles or stepping into the roadway might be fatal. Trucks are also less maneuverable, and leaving them extra space when they have to turn might also avoid accidents. The wind gusts they cause can compromise the ability of car drivers to control their vehicles, and small cars can be sucked into the space underneath semitrucks. Becoming familiar with the blind spots around trucks and buses is also crucial, for not only vehicle operators but also pedestrians.
While most commercial vehicle drivers take special care to drive safely, it is not always the case. Any victims of truck accidents that were caused by negligent operators might have grounds to pursue claims for financial relief. This is typically done with the support and guidance of an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney who can provide advocacy throughout the ensuing legal proceedings. Financial and emotional damages can form part of documented claims to be adjudicated by the court.