With 18-wheelers being more than 20 times the size and weight of most automobiles, it’s no wonder that trucks cause significantly more damage and injury when involved motor vehicle accidents than regular automobiles. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), there has been at least a 20% increase in trucking accidents over the last twenty years. Those are scary statistics for those of us who frequent the highways commuting to and from work every day. While the actual circumstances that lead to truck accidents are very unique, there are primarily five common types of truck accidents in Rogers, Arkansas you may be able to look out for.
Driver error has been determined by the FMSCA to be the most frequent cause of truck crashes than any other. Driver error can be attributed to many different factors including, fatigue distraction and substance abuse or intoxication. All of these factors, as well as some others, cause the truck driver to be unable to appropriately react to dangers on the roadways. While these factors are not really uncommon for automobile drivers as well, the nature of a collision with a truck makes these factors much more dangerous.
The second most common cause of trucking accidents is truck equipment failure. Equipment failure, in turn, can be caused by a wide variety of things, including design flaws, manufacturing defects, or defective tires. Equipment failures can also result from lack of inspection and maintenance or lack of necessary warning devices.
For instance, the FMSCA requires pre-trip inspections, as well as regular inspections and maintenance throughout the year. When these requirements are met and the inspections and maintenance performed, mechanical failures should not be an issue. Unfortunately, the reality is that the FMSCA requirements and guidelines are most often ignored, which results in completely unnecessarily and likely preventable accidents.
As with cars, weather conditions can wreak havoc on road safety. However, because of a truck’s heavier weight, which is increased by their loads, trucks are not able to brake as quickly, especially in bad weather. When a commercial truck driver fails to account for this during bad weather, it may be nearly impossible to avoid an accident.
Weather conditions have a major impact on the safety of big trucks. Due to the heavy weight of the trucks and their loads, braking distance is often hampered (increased) in bad weather.
Proper loading of a commercial truck is a science. A load that is not properly distributed on the trailer can result in an imbalanced load. When the load is contained inside the trailer, the result can be that the truck flips on its side while moving. If the load is not enclosed and has not been properly secured, the load may fall off the truck into the roadway causing accidents and injuries. A common example is a log truck whose load is not properly secured and the logs are seen rolling down the interstate.
Incompetent commercial truck drivers
Sadly, poor selection and hiring of commercial truck drivers is becoming a growing cause of trucking accidents. In many situations, a company is in desperate need of a driver in order to make a shipment on time, and they hire another company or independent truck driver without determining whether that company or driver is in compliance with FMSCA regulations to safely ship their loads. Another situation is where companies, either due to time or money constraints, do not provide their drivers with sufficient training to be able to handle their trucks and their loads competently.
Getting Legal Help with Trucking Accidents in Rogers
If you, or someone you know, has been injured as a result of a trucking accident in Rogers, contact the experienced Rogers Arkansas personal injury attorneys at the Cottrell Law Office.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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