| Added On December 30, 2009
A person is killed or injured in a truck accident every 16 minutes? Big rig truck accidents continue to increase. Even with these frightening statistics and scenarios, powerful trucking industry lobbyists continue to call for the weakening of truck safety rules and regulations in order to reap a higher profit. Approximately 98% of these fatalities occur to individuals in passenger vehicles. When truck collisions do occur, trucking companies involved in the accident often send representatives to the accident scene to confront accident victims immediately following the event, when they are most vulnerable. These agents work to handle everything at the scene of the accident so that they can limit or mitigate their company’s liability.
By working with experienced truck accident lawyers, victims can have some control and participation to ensure that their interests and rights are protected. If you or a loved one have been injured in a commercial trucking accident, you need experienced lawyers to protect your rights. Large truck ing companies have their own investigators and attorneys fighting for them and you need someone on your side. Your Choice of Lawyer is Important. So choose carefully. Most personal injury lawyers charge clients of personal injury claims on a contingency basis. That means that the attorney is only paid if he or she wins money damages for you, from the client.
This makes it possible for anyone to hire only the best lawyer. It gives everyone access to the justice system and representation that is equal to the best that insurance companies, defendants and doctors can hire. You can usually contact a lawyer for a free consultation. Some of the common situations that can cause or contribute to commercial truck accidents include unsafe acts by passenger vehicle drivers: Oftentimes a traffic accident between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle is caused at least in part by an unsafe act on the part of the car driver.
The most common factor in collisions involving large trucks and passenger vehicles is car drivers’ ignorance of a truck’s performance limitations including visibility, braking and, limits associated with acceleration. Some common unsafe acts committed by automobile drivers in the vicinity of large trucks include: Driving in the No Zones. These are the areas beside and behind a commercial truck where the truck driver has limited or zero visibility; Changing lanes abruptly in front of a truck; Maneuvering to the right of a truck that is making a right turn; Misjudging a truck’s speed upon approach to an intersection, and turning left turn in front of the truck; Merging improperly into traffic, causing a truck to maneuver or brake quickly; Failure to speed up or slow down when a truck begins to merge or change lanes; Unsafe passing, especially when passing with insufficient lead time; Passing a truck and then being blown out of position by a cross wind or by air turbulence; Pulling into traffic without accelerating sufficiently from the roadside in front of a truck; Driving in between large trucks; Abandoning a vehicle in the lane of travel, or failing to get a disabled vehicle completely off the highway and onto the shoulder.
The dangers presented by commercial truck driver include: Inadequate training as to driving technique, safety concerns, and defensive driving; Compensation systems that encourage more hours of consecutive vehicle operation and faster vehicle speeds than would normally be advisable, and; Unrealistic schedules and expectations of trucking companies that encourage drivers to rush, in spite of the safety risks involved. Commercial vehicles such as eighteen wheelers and other large freight carriers are a unique presence on roads that are occupied mostly by small passenger vehicles, and commercial vehicles represent dangers that are also unique. Not only do commercial truck drivers need to be aware of the special circumstances presented by the large vehicles they are driving, but other drivers on the road also need to use caution in their presence. Especially at higher speeds on major highways, what seem to be insignificant driving errors that can occur without consequence where small vehicles are concerned can result in catastrophe when an eighteen-wheeler is involved. The drivers of large commercial vehicles have at least as much responsibility for the safety of the public as do airline pilots. After all, we buy tickets to voluntarily get on commercial aircraft.
However, all of us share the public roadways on a daily basis with professional drivers, operating 80,000 pound vehicles, all around us. Therefore, professional truck drivers, who provide vital services to our overall economy, should be trained more like airline pilots, be healthy more like airline pilots, rested more like airline pilots and paid more like airline pilots. Commercial truck drivers are skilled and patient drivers, for the most part. However, in addition to the dangers inherent in the size and weight of the trucks used in commercial transportation and shipping, a number of characteristics inherent in the business can contribute to traffic accidents.