Driving on the highway likely means you’ll be sharing the road with truck drivers. While many drivers know to be cautious and alert when behind the wheel, this doesn’t mean everyone will do this. If a semi-trailer is involved in an accident, the results are usually severe. If you or a loved one has been hurt, our Columbia, MD truck accident lawyers will help you.
Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC has headquarters in Baltimore but proudly serves citizens all over Maryland. We’ve helped countless clients get fair compensation for their injuries and may be able to do the same for you.
If our lawyers take your personal injury case, we’ll begin an intensive investigation where we’ll look at the accident, how it happened, who was negligent, and how it affected you. Understanding how the collision happened can provide insight into how you were hurt. Let’s take a look at some reasons why truck accidents happen.
What Factors Contribute to a Truck Accident?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released a study looking at truck accident data from April 2001 to December 2003. When looking at collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles, they found a few common reasons that contributed to the crash. Some of those factors are:
- Distracted Driving
- Unfamiliarity with Roadway
- Driving Too Fast for Conditions
Truckers who are traveling long distances may depend on a GPS to tell them where they need to go. But if they’re more focused on their phone, they’re not looking at the road and other cars in front of them. There’s also the possibility that they’re trying to save time by eating meals in their truck, which means at least one hand will be off the wheel as they’re holding food or a drink.
Drivers in unfamiliar territory may not anticipate blind turns or sharp curves in the road. They may also not know if there are any upcoming merges to prepare for.
The conditions of the road may be poor—whether it’s a slippery road surface or there’s poor visibility from fog or the sun is going down. Drivers need to adapt their driving behavior to what’s safe. If a trucker is going the speed limit but there’s dense fog, they won’t be able to spot other vehicles in front of them. If traffic suddenly stops, the truck will likely collide with them.
Exhaustion is often a concern with truck drivers. They typically have strict, demanding schedules to adhere to, even though there are federal regulations that tell them when they need to sleep and take a break from driving. However, meeting those deadlines may make a truck driver try to push through their fatigue. A fatigued driver has slower reaction times and is at risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
Truck drivers need to make sure they’re following the speed limit. Their vehicles are much larger than passenger vehicles and need time to slow down. A speeding trucker will have less control of their vehicle and are more likely to get in an accident.
Override and Underride Accidents
When a truck crashes into a smaller vehicle, the occupants in the vehicle are more likely to sustain serious injuries. Some of the most dangerous kinds of accidents are override and underride accidents.
- Override Collisions: An override accident happens when a truck crashes into the back of another car. If the truck driver is not paying attention, loses control of their vehicle, or tailgates, then they may cause an override collision.
- Underride Collisions. An underride is when a car gets caught under the side or the back of a truck. Trailers with broken taillights, a lack of underride guards, and inadequate lane change signals can result in underride collisions.
Both of these accident types have the potential to be deadly. When the car gets caught under the truck, the driver may lose control of the vehicle. The part that’s caught under the truck may be shorn off. This can cause severe injuries to the occupants inside. If the accident isn’t fatal, occupants may sustain a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, or internal organ damage. These are often called catastrophic injuries, as they’ll have life-changing consequences.
You may no longer be able to work and may live with a disability for the rest of your life. While this is a major emotional adjustment as you get used to living your life with your injury, you’re also going to need appropriate care. While affording this can seem daunting, you can rest assured your Columbia truck accident lawyers will fight for full and fair compensation.
Let Our Columbia Attorneys Stand Up for You
The lawyers at Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC believe in standing up for those who were wrongfully injured. We’ll find out who was responsible for your accident. While you may immediately think the truck driver is the one at fault, there’s also a chance the trucking company or the truck’s manufacturer was truly at fault for your injuries.
No matter who was responsible, we’ll make sure to get you the justice you deserve. To schedule a free consultation of your case, give our office a call today.