What Causes Truck Accidents?
Find Out With a Reno Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents can be blamed on the usual suspects: speeding, distracted driving or driving under the influence – but they can also be caused by factors unique to large truck collisions. Overloaded trucks, improperly balanced truck loads, poor truck maintenance and defective truck parts can also cause serious collisions. Large trucks are also more susceptible to maneuverability issues in heavy weather and on hazardous roads. Here, we will look at the potential causes of truck accidents and how these may affect liability in a resulting claim or lawsuit.
At Shook & Stone, we provide experienced representation to victims of traffic accidents across Nevada. If you were injured, call a Reno truck accident lawyer at our firm and find out what steps you can take to seek and secure financial compensation for lost earnings, medical expenses, property damage, emotional trauma and other losses or injuries you have experienced. We have well over eight decades of experience to apply to your case.
Truck Driver & Trucking Company Negligence
Truck drivers, trucking companies, shipping companies, loading companies and other parties involved in the trucking industry have an obligation to act with proper care. When they fail to do so, this places truck drivers and everyone who shares the road with a large truck at risk. The following are examples of negligent practices that could result in truck accidents:
- Texting or talking on the phone while driving (distracted truck drivers).
- Improper loading of a truck (overloading, unbalanced or improperly secured load).
- Drunk driving (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs).
- Speeding in an attempt to make delivery deadlines.
- Failure to take appropriate rest breaks, resulting in driver fatigue.
- Failure to properly maintain a truck and truck parts (tires, brakes, etc.)
Violations of Trucking Regulations
In some instances, violations of trucking regulations may result from negligence on the part of truck drivers or trucking companies. In other scenarios, however, these violations may have occurred willfully and intentionally by parties more interested in making a profit than promoting the safety of motorists on Nevada's roadways. Some examples of violations that may lead to collisions include:
- Violations of hours-of-service regulations, meaning truck drivers are working too many hours with insufficient rest.
- Overloading trucks; exceeding federal and/or state weight limits on certain roadways.
- Failures to keep detailed driver logs and electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs).
- Drug or alcohol abuse by truck drivers; failures by trucking companies to test drivers and perform background checks.
Like other drivers, truck drivers must comply with state traffic laws. When they commit traffic violations, they greatly increase the chances that they will cause or be involved in collisions. Some examples include:
- Following too closely (tailgating);
- Texting while driving;
- Driving with a blood alcohol level of .04% or greater;
- Failure to yield the right of way;
- Driving without a commercial driver's license (CDL); and
- Running a red light or stop sign.
Other Factors (Weather, Hazardous Roads, etc.)
There are some situations where an external factor may cause or contribute to a truck accident. Heavy weather and hazardous roads, for example, may worsen the consequences of a distracted or tired truck driver and increase the chances of a collision. Due to their size and weight, large trucks may be even more difficult to maneuver in strong winds, rain or other adverse weather. Poorly designed or maintained roads may have more of an impact on a driver's ability to safely slow a large truck or maneuver a sharp turn.
When we take on a truck accident case, we look to every potential cause in order to determine exactly what party (or parties) can be held legally accountable. If you were involved in an accident in Reno or Carson City, contact a truck accident attorney at Shook & Stone.