As a Coeur d’Alene truck accident law firm, we know that you need only to take a drive on any major highway in the United States to understand the impact commercial trucks have on our economy.
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, more than 49 million tons of freight moves on our highways annually. That translates into tens of billions of dollars.
The development of the trucking industry has made it possible to compete in a world economy. Products that enter our country are often transported to their destination via trucks.
While railroad is also a major industry, trucks are more economical. Basically, they pick up at one door and drop off at another. The loading and unloading at various points are unnecessary.
The Depth Of Truck Accidents
When an automobile collides with a commercial truck, the chances are good that injury or death will occur. The average automobile (depending upon the make and size), weighs between 3,000 and more than 4,000 pounds. The average truck is easily 10 times that. A fully loaded, heavy-duty truck can be 20 (or more) times that weight.
Why does that matter? Because the heavier the vehicle, the longer it takes to stop. If you are in front of one of these huge trucks and you are forced to come to a quick stop, the driver of the truck may not have the space he or she needs to stop.
When the truck hits the car, if he or she is traveling at any significant speed, the car is likely to be destroyed. The people who are in the car are likely to be seriously injured or even worse, killed.
Causes Of Accidents With Trucks
When it comes to truck accidents in Idaho, these are the top causes:
● Stopping suddenly
As mentioned above, one of the most common reasons for car/truck accidents comes from drivers changing lanes and slowing down or coming to a stop in front of the truck.
A trucker will leave significant space between themselves and the vehicle in front of them. This is their stopping cushion. An impatient driver pressing themselves in that spot is creating a hazard.
● Driving while tired or sleepy
A truck driver must operate under specific laws. He or she must keep a log book of how many hours they have driven and exactly what time they stopped the truck and rested. Their mileage, reports, and paperwork must verify the information in their log book.
However, truck drivers only get paid when their trucks are moving. This gives them an incentive to push the limits, which is often a deadly decision.
● Improperly loaded trucks (overloading)
Again, this comes down to dollars and cents. If a trucker can deliver more product in one stop, he or she makes more money. The company they are delivering for also makes more money.
This is why some companies turn their backs to a load going above what is allowed by law. Exceeding the manufacturer’s specifications for loading the truck equals waiving the ability to properly control the truck.
There are many other causes of truck accidents. The most important rule to follow is this; give them plenty of room at all times. Allow them time to stop and allow yourself time to maneuver your car to safety. If an accident happens, contact a lawyer immediately.