Semi-trucks are an integral part of our shipping and commerce systems. Certainly the hard work put in by the drivers has to be appreciated. Unfortunately, from time to time, there is an accident. And when it comes to accidents with these big rigs, the results are rarely minor.
As the years have passed and online product availability has increased, so too has the need for shipping. Trucking companies and drivers are as pressed as ever to meet deadlines and quotas. At the heart of this complex network lies to main problems that have resulted in thousands of truck related accidents every year, and those problems are equipment failure and driver fault.
When Semi Truck Equipment Fails
Big Rig trucks can weight tens of thousands of pounds, and to get that weight moving and stopping safely is a real feat. Here are some examples of things that can go wrong in the trucking process:
* Tire Blow Up. Some of these semi-trucks have up to 18 wheels, but that doesn’t mean they are completely safe from tire failure. Even a temporary off-balancing effect can have serious consequences, resulting in unexpected lan shifting or rolling.
* Load Shift. If a truck load is not tied down correctly, or if it is prepared in an unbalanced fashion, the shifting of the weight during transport can cause the driver to lose control.
* Maintenance and Inspection Failure. Rigs have complex engines and parts that must be able to handle big loads. If maintenance and inspections are lax then the door becomes open for possible equipment failure.
* Brake Trouble. Perhaps the most important part of the semi-truck is its braking system. Bringing freight to a stop requires an increased time and distance, and if the brakes are not performing optimally, the stopping procedure can be compromised.
When Semi Truck Driver’s Fail
Anyone who travels on a routine basis knows how dangerous driving can be. They also know how precarious driving near and around big rig trucks can feel. If those drivers are not on top of their game, the results can be disastrous. Some examples of driver failure:
* Driver Fatigue. The pressures to deliver on time, or even early for a bonus, weigh heavily on truck drivers. They are often tempted to forego the mandatory breaks (As stated by law) and drive much longer than they are comfortable with. Fatigue is sneaky and can set in before the driver realizes he and the other drivers on the road are in peril.
* Drunk Driving. Most states have strict limits for the level of alcohol and drunk driver can have. That doesn’t mean drunk driving never happens though.
* Driver Aggression. For reasons such as delivery time and personal anxiety, semi-truck drivers that give in to aggressive driving put other motorists at serious risk.
* Driver Error / Distraction. Sometimes drivers simply make an error in judgment, cut a corner too thin, or otherwise screw up. This can be compounded if they are distracted by cell phone use or some other preoccupation during their routes.
Legal Rights of Victims
It’s important to realize that victims of semi-truck accidents rarely escape with minor injuries. That is why you must take matters seriously and contact a competent auto accident attorney as soon as possible. Try to locate a lawyer in your area that is very familiar with your state’s laws, and has conducted semi-truck cases before.
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