What Are the Common Causes of Tennessee Large Truck Accidents?
All drivers have experienced the sheer panic of a near-fatal accident. Maybe the other motorist merged lanes without using a turn signal, went through a red light, or failed to see you in his or her blind spot. This can happen with all types of vehicles but can be the most dangerous when large trucks are involved. An 18-wheeler’s sheer size makes it unable to quickly avoid another car in the same way that a smaller, passenger vehicle can. According to reports from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), just over 4,000 people died in crashes involving large trucks in 2018, and 67 percent of the fatalities were passenger vehicle occupants. Knowing the typical reasons that large truck accidents occur may help you avoid injuries when driving near semi-trucks.
It is no secret that truck drivers work long, late hours navigating the highways across the country. The lull of open roads at night can easily put any driver to sleep, especially those who are traveling many miles. With overnight shifts leading to sleep deprivation and an inconsistent sleep schedule, many drivers can become drowsy on the road. According to the IIHS, truck drivers who are behind the wheel for more than eight hours are twice as likely to crash. In order to address this issue, electronic logging systems have been implemented to record the number of hours drivers are on the road to avoid working overtime. This technology may work in some cases, but many drivers still manage to suffer from fatigue on the job. If you are driving and notice a truck drifting between lanes, especially at night, be sure to keep your distance to avoid being involved in a collision with a big rig.
As is the case with any occupation, damaged or faulty equipment can yield dangerous results. Brake defects are one of the most common issues found in trucks that have been involved in an accident. Inadequate headlights or running lights are also a common issue, which make it difficult for oncoming traffic to see large trucks coming their way in poorly lit or rural areas. In order to combat this issue, large trucks undergo in-depth inspections that look into the driver’s record as well as the safety of the mechanics. Although there is no way to anticipate defective equipment on a large truck, if you see anything that appears out of the ordinary, you can call the number listed on the back of the truck to notify the trucking company of the possible discrepancy.
The large space between the bottom of a semi-truck and the ground can be the most dangerous aspect about these massive vehicles. Most passenger vehicles can fit underneath this space, resulting in the smaller vehicle and its occupants becoming trapped underneath the truck in the event of a crash. This can cause the truck to crush the windshield and roof of the car and fatally injure the passengers inside. Most trucks today have underride guards that reduce the space between the bottom of the truck and the ground, making it more difficult for cars to fit underneath the truck. Underriding is still possible, even with such safety measures, making it imperative to keep at least one car length’s distance from semi-trucks so that you can turn the car in time to avoid an accident.
Contact a Chattanooga Personal Injury Lawyer
Unfortunately, many crashes involving large trucks, including 18-wheelers, leave those involved seriously or fatally injured. Such accidents can greatly alter your livelihood moving forward and sometimes result in lives lost. At the accomplished law firm of Warren & Griffin, P.C., we understand how devastating such accidents can be, emotionally, physically, and financially. Our attorneys work tirelessly to obtain the compensation that you deserve for your medical bills, sustained injuries, and emotional trauma. If you have been injured in a commercial vehicle collision, contact our diligent Tennessee truck accident attorneys today at 423-265-4878.