It has been estimated that over two million truck tractor trailers are on roads throughout the United States day in and day out. These trucks are big, intimidating and can be very dangerous under certain circumstances. While there is no question that these 18-wheelers are an extremely useful way to keep our economy going strong and do provide remarkable commerce and infrastructure, the dominant question is this: at what price? Tractor trailers wreck fairly often, and when the accident is between a semi-truck and a regular vehicle the consequences can be pretty severe. With that in mind, here are some things to keep in mind regarding accidents where a semi-truck is involved:
Prevalence and Consequences of Truck Accidents
While fatal truck crashes are down 74% since 1980, there are still half a million truck crashes every year. Even though this is a significant improvement, there were 3,660 fatalities caused by a collision with a tractor trailer or bus in 2014. Moreover, there are many contributing factors to a tractor-trailer truck accident. Such negligent actions as following too closely, driver fatigue, overcorrecting with the steering wheel, poor tire pressure and poor vehicle maintenance that later leads to vehicle failure have all been cited as reasons for a crash involving an 18-wheeler.
Like Airplanes, Most Newer Trucks Have a “Black Box”
The great majority of newer tractor trailers on the road today have an Electronic Logging Device (ELD). This piece of equipment records many different bits of useful information, including the following:
- The GPS location of the truck
- The average speed of the truck
- Usage (if any) of the cruise control feature
- How fast the driver was going when the accident occurred
- How often the driver has gone over the speed limit
- Whether seatbelts were in use
- Whether a sudden stop was made
Thus, it goes without saying that law enforcement personnel will seek out this box in order to investigate a crash. It can prove invaluable in determining whether the driver of the small vehicle was at fault or if it was the truck driver who was at fault.
Many Truck Accidents Involve Braking Mishaps
The great majority of semi-trucks are equipped with air brakes. One of the things that most individuals that don’t work with trucks don’t realize is that these air brakes will heat up to about 600 degrees if the truck has to come to a full stop from 60 miles per hour. Thus, if a driver is inexperienced or has not been thoroughly trained regarding the proper use of these brakes, there is a greater chance of a truck accident where brake failure was the culprit.
These are all some telling factors where the truck driver could be at fault for the accident. The main purpose is always to determine this, but do realize that if it is determined that a truck driver is at fault in your accident, then you are definitely entitled to some compensation. Talk to an attorney today and they will be happy to get to the bottom of your case.
Maida Law Firm is here to help with all of your truck accident needs — give us a call today!