Passenger vehicles share Minnesota’s roads with trucks. Trucks vastly outweigh passenger cars and motorcycles and, because of their size, have obstructed sight lines. Truck accidents can occur for a number of reasons. Truck drivers can forget to check their mirrors before they change lanes. Inexperienced drivers may not appreciate the amount of time it takes to stop a fully laden truck versus an empty one. Some companies fail to train their drivers sufficiently in their rush to get a job done. Older truck drivers who once were very good drivers may have developed health troubles during their years of driving or be taking medications that leave them with diminished vision and reflexes. Some drivers will work longer hours than is legal and alter their logs to look like they have slept. This can result in driver fatigue, sometimes causing the driver to nod off on the road and swerve into oncoming traffic. Sometimes unsuspecting drivers will tuck their car into a truck’s blind spot and be surprised when the truck suddenly merges. An extra level of care and awareness is required for the driver of any truck whither a semi-trailer, tanker, farm truck, delivery truck or garbage truck.
The size disparity between a truck and a car or motorcycle results in tremendous forces being exerted upon the car or noncommercial vehicle’s occupants. As such, any truck accident can be devastating.
Commercial truck drivers are required to hold a special license called a CDL or commercial driver’s license in order to drive their truck. The reason for these licenses is that trucks themselves are considered dangerous machinery. Commercial trucks can also haul dangerous loads such as toxic chemicals that can cause injuries if spilled or carry wide loads that jut into oncoming or passing traffic.
Most freight carriers have safety plans in place to teach safe driving skills. Some companies are more serious than others about these programs because they know that the fewer accidents their drivers have, the more profitable their company will be. Other companies have safety programs in place for show only. They are less interested in their drivers being safe on the highway than in being able to say they have a safety program in place to shield them from a lawsuit.
Safety conscious trucking companies in the modern era have computerized GPS-linked units in their vehicles that can record their driver’s speed and immediately report speeding vehicles or vehicles driving excessive hours to company headquarters. Less safety-oriented companies will allow their drivers to keep paper logs of their hours behind the wheel. These logs can be forged over coffee breaks to make it look like the drivers are legal to drive.
Truck drivers unquestionably have a difficult job. They are not well paid, considering how dangerous their job is. There are many incentives in place to drive in an unsafe fashion. The sedentary nature of their job leads to health problems. The food available to drivers on long haul jobs tends to be unhealthy and can lead to such problems as diabetes and sleep apnea. These diseases can negatively affect a driver’s eyesight and alertness.
It is unfortunate that there are tens of thousands of commercial truck-related accidents every year which are completely preventable. The injuries and deaths caused in these accidents did not have to happen.
Causes For Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Safety Administration sponsored a Large Truck Crash Causation Study in order to study the reasons for serious accidents involving large trucks. There are a number of causes of truck accidents. They most common include:
- Driver fatigue
- Drunk driving
- Inadequately secured cargo
- Improper speed
- Mechanical defects
- No zone accidents
- Employer liability
- Driving while texting
Of course, there are many other accident types, as well. Perhaps an individual is driving behind a garbage truck or construction truck and debris strikes their vehicle, causing them to have an accident. All accidents are the result of someone’s negligence. Your Minneapolis truck accident attorney can hold the responsible party accountable. You will be able to recover compensation for medical bills, property damage, wage loss, pain and suffering, retraining, and more. The unique details of your case will determine what forms of compensation you can pursue.
Contact A Minnesota Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck and have sustained injuries or if a loved one has been hurt or killed in a truck accident, call the Meshbesher Law Firm immediately. Proper investigation is imperative in these types of cases, and delay can result in critical evidence being lost or destroyed. Our attorneys will evaluate the details surrounding the accident and help you obtain the compensation that you need. Call us today at 612-349-5215 for a free consultation.