Truck accidents are some of the most severe accidents that occur on Atlanta roadways. According to a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Georgia was one of 10 states that accounted for 51 percent of all U.S. fatal crashes involving at least one large truck or bus. That same report said that Georgia was one of the 10 states accounting for 51 percent of all large truck fatalities.
The Most Common Causes of Atlanta Truck Accidents
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in Atlanta, the personal injury team at Cain Injury Law wants to help. We’ve been named “Rising Stars” for 2020 by Super Lawyers, and we’re widely known for our commitment to our community.
Alcohol abuse and substance abuse are major causes of many truck accidents. When truck drivers abuse alcohol or drugs, they experience a wide range of negative effects that make it harder for them to handle their vehicles safely and avoid an accident.
Alcohol and drugs slow truck driver’s reflexes, lower their inhibitions, impair their judgment, and can even cause them to fall asleep at the wheel. This is true even for some prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs, such as sleep aids. If truck drivers abuse alcohol or drugs while engaging in other dangerous driving behaviors, the negative effects of their substance abuse are compounded even further.
Driving while fatigued is something that all drivers should be wary of, but it’s a particular problem for truck drivers. This is because truckers spend long hours on the road performing a job that can be very boring at times. There are federal guidelines that dictate when truck drivers are required to take breaks, but many truck drivers ignore or skirt these rules to make sure they hit their delivery deadlines.
Truck drivers who are fatigued experience many of the same ill effects as those who drive after abusing alcohol or drugs, including dulled reflexes, impaired judgment, and a greater likelihood of falling asleep while driving.
Distracted driving is rampant among drivers today, and truck drivers are not immune. When truckers are distracted, they may completely fail to see an oncoming hazard in their path, or they may not see the hazard until it’s too late to do anything about it.
If a truck driver takes five seconds to read or send a text message, their vehicle may travel the length of the football field during that time. That’s easily enough time and space for a truck to collide with another vehicle, pedestrian, or other hazards.
Common distractions include talking on the phone, sending or answering text messages, using GPS and dispatching technology, eating or drinking, adjusting the music inside the truck, and daydreaming.
When you’re handling a vehicle that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and can be up to 80 feet long, it’s important that all the parts in that vehicle are working properly. Otherwise, it becomes that much harder to handle the vehicle safely.
When key components of a truck fail, such as its brakes or steering system, keeping the vehicle on the road can become downright impossible. It’s also very difficult for a truck driver to handle their vehicle in an emergency when the truck’s equipment isn’t working correctly.
An issue related to equipment failure with trucks is poor maintenance. Even if there are no defects when a truck is initially manufactured, parts can wear down over time if they aren’t properly maintained. It’s the responsibility of trucking companies and maintenance personnel to make sure that trucks are regularly checked for any sign of wear and tear and to repair broken or worn-out parts when they’re noticed. Failure to properly maintain a truck can lead to catastrophic equipment failures and a much higher likelihood of accidents.
Speeding and other forms of reckless driving are particularly dangerous when it comes to trucks and truck drivers. The additional size and weight of trucks mean there’s less margin for error for the truck to avoid a collision. That margin decreases even further if the truck is speeding because the driver has less time and space to react.
Other reckless driving behaviors that put others on the road at risk include aggressive lane changes, changing lanes without signaling, braking suddenly, turning too sharply or at too high of speeds, and following too closely behind other vehicles.
Driving a large truck is not the same as handling a typical passenger car. Trucks are much bigger, heavier, and longer, making them much more difficult to drive. Furthermore, trucks that are pulling a trailer have to make much wider turns, especially when turning right.
It takes time and training to learn how to handle a truck properly, but sometimes trucking companies put inexperienced or untrained drivers behind the wheel. This places both the truck drivers and others on the roads in grave danger.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Today
At Cain Injury Law, our extensive experience handling truck accident claims makes us well suited to handle your case. We are ready to identify all the potentially liable parties after an accident to pursue the compensation you deserve from every source. We also know how to find and preserve the evidence that shows what really happened in a crash. We’ll make sure that you’re kept informed at every step of the way while fighting for your financial recovery.
Do you have questions about your Atlanta truck accident case? Get a free initial consultation by calling our office or filling out the form on our contact page.