Accidents involving large commercial trucks such as semis, tractor-trailers or commercial delivery trucks can be devastating ― often resulting in severe injury or even death for those involved. In many cases, the drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles have little chance of walking away unscathed when a large 18-wheeler comes barreling down upon them.Given the dangers of trucking accidents, it is important to understand the root causes of these collisions. Only then can we work to make the roads safer and hold negligent parties responsible for the injury-causing actions. With that goal in mind, here are five common causes of trucking accidents on Massachusetts roadways.1. Driver fatigue
Many truckers push themselves to their physical limits while attempting to meet strict delivery deadlines. This is one reason why there are regulations in place that limit the number of hours a truck driver can remain behind the wheel. If a driver exceed these limits ― or is otherwise too tired to be driving ― the driver and the trucking company may be liable if fatigue results in an accident that causes injuries to others.
2. Drunk truck drivers
Like all other drivers, it is illegal for truckers to drive while intoxicated. However, unlike other drivers, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is much lower for truck drivers ― .04 percent for truckers versus .08 percent for all other drivers over the age of 21. This lower limit is not surprising, especially given the damage a drunk truck driver can inflict upon other motorists.
3. Broken or poorly maintained trucks
Truckers and trucking companies must maintain their trucks in good working order, which includes a duty to inspect for problems and make necessary repairs. This applies to all truck components, including brakes, tires and safety equipment such as lights and reflectors. If a trucking company allows a dangerous or broken truck on the road, it may be liable if an accident is caused as a result.
4. Improperly loaded trucks
If a truck is not properly loaded, it can result in an imbalanced load that makes it more likely that a truck will tip over or skid out of control. Improperly secured loads can also result in cargo falling off the truck and into traffic. Similarly, if a truck is overloaded, it can impact the truck’s performance and steering ― not to mention it can cause the tires to blow, resulting in a jackknife or other accident.
5. Unqualified or dangerous drivers
If a trucking company negligently hires unqualified drivers, or fails to properly screen applicants, it may be liable if one of its drivers proves to be reckless or careless. Trucking companies may also be liable if they negligently supervise their drivers.
You Need Legal Guidance If You Have Been In A Trucking Accident
As with any motor vehicle collision, there are many things you need to do after a trucking accident ― like dialing 911 to call the police and seeking medical care. However, you should also speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to learn what your legal rights and options might be.
At Goldberg & Weigand, LLP, we understand how upsetting and traumatic a trucking accident can be, which is why we work hard to take care of your legal issues while you focus on things that are more important. We offer our clients personalized, effective legal representation when they have suffered a catastrophic or life-threatening injury.
Fighting commercial trucking companies can be difficult, especially since many companies have their own in-house counsel. You need to hire lawyers with experience. You need to hire Goldberg & Weigand, LLP.
Importantly, we also help truck drivers injured in trucking accidents, particularly those injured due to equipment malfunctions, trucking companies that push the limits of driver fatigue or the negligence of other motorists.
Contact us 24 hours a day to schedule your FREE consultation at one of several office locations, including Hyannis, New Bedford and Boston. You can reach us online or by calling (508) 203-6600.