A cement truck is a large, heavy piece of machinery that drives on the frame of a medium to large-size truck. Despite the rotating motion of the cement mixer, the high center of gravity, and the poor visibility, these trucks are still street-legal and can even drive on highways.
In the hands of a negligent or inexperienced truck driver, a cement truck can be an extremely dangerous vehicle. Not only should a motorist be concerned about the size and the weight of a cement truck, but they should also beware the possibility of cement mix being spread on their vehicles or the road in the event of an accident. If you or a family member was severely injured in an accident with a concrete truck, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia cement truck accident lawyer today.
The Reiff Law Firm understands how a severe injury could impact your personal and professional life, and we are here to fight for you. You do not have to handle your personal injury claim alone, contact The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 for your free legal consultation.
4 Common Causes of Cement Truck Accidents
Cement trucks are used to transport materials that are used to pave and repair roads. Before the cement is used, it exists as a liquid that will solidify once it is poured. However, before it is used at a construction site, this substance must be carefully transported. Truck drivers that operate a cement truck negligently could cause several types of accidents.
The following is a list of common causes of cement truck accidents.
Concrete trucks typically carry liquid cement in a cylindrical tank that is attached to the top of the truck. As cement trucks already weigh several tons, carrying liquid cement that can shift back and forth can be dangerous under certain circumstances. For example, if a truck driver is attempting to make a swift turn and the weight from the cement shifts as they are making the turn, it is possible the vehicle could tip over.
If a concrete truck flips over, there is a possibility that it could spill cement over the roads and cause additional accidents.
If a truck driver is transporting wet cement, they are almost certainly in a hurry to reach their destination before it dries and hardens. This can lead to a truck driver speeding and acting erratically to ensure they reach the construction site on time. Speeding and weaving in and out of traffic in a large cement truck is a recipe for disaster. As mentioned, the weight of the cement will cause the vehicle to become unstable and more difficult to maneuver.
If a truck driver crashes into your vehicle because they were speeding towards a construction site, the driver and their employer may be liable for your injuries.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
The transportation of wet cement can cause the equipment and components of a truck to deteriorate quicker than normal. That is why it is important for trucking and construction companies to service their vehicles when necessary.
Unfortunately, some companies may neglect to perform maintenance on their fleet of vehicles, which can lead to a serious accident. For example, if the tires on a cement truck explode due to the weight of carrying cement, this could be avoided if the tires on the vehicle were frequently changed.
One of the most common causes of cement truck accidents and practically any type of truck accident is driver error. Some truck drivers will overestimate their ability to maneuver a vehicle and will put other motorists in danger while driving. Other drivers may simply be too inexperienced to drive a large cement truck.
There are several other causes of trucking accidents that are not discussed in this article. To learn more about filing a lawsuit for a serious trucking accident, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney.
Common Injuries After a Truck Collision
The sheer weight and size of a commercial truck can make accidents with passenger vehicles dangerous. One of the most common types of injuries associated with truck collisions are crushing injuries. These injuries are likely to occur even when a truck collides with a passenger vehicle at a low rate of speed.
Other injuries that are common after truck accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Head/Traumatic brain injuries (concussions)
- Soft tissue injuries (whiplash)
Our firm is ready to help you file a personal injury lawsuit for these injuries and any other injuries caused by a negligent truck driver.
Cement Mixer Truck Dangers
A cement truck is larger than most vehicles on the road and significantly heavier. A typical sedan, like a Honda Civic, weighs almost 1.5 tons (around 3,000 pounds). A cement truck, without any cement, typically weighs around 26,000 pounds (13 tons) before the cement is added. The cement itself usually weighs about 4,000 pounds per cubic yard – meaning that a 3-foot by 3-foot square’s worth of cement is heavier than a car. A cement truck can typically carry around 10 cubic yards of concrete, or 40,000 pounds – over 13-times the weight of a car. The combined truck and cargo weight is often 66,000 pounds or more.
Since this weight is all concentrated in the cement mixer on the back of the truck, most of its weight is positioned very high off the ground. This increases the risk of a rollover. In the case of emergency maneuvers, the truck may tip or flip, potentially injury other drivers, bystanders, or workers. The overall weight of the vehicle can also affect the driver’s ability to stop in a hurry. A truck weighing 66,000 pounds may need up to around 20-times the stopping distance as a regular car – which can be lengthened further if the road is wet or slippery.
Aside from the weight, lack of visibility is a huge danger. The driver of a cement truck often cannot see directly to their rear because of the cement mixer. This means relying on the awkward angles of side-view mirrors for visibility. Because the driver’s seat is so high off the ground, it is also difficult to see other cars to the front or side of the cab. Always give trucks like this space when passing or following on the highway.
Because these trucks are often used in construction, they may make sudden stops and turns. For roadside construction, this can mean these trucks go from highway speeds to completely stopped in a short distance. Without proper signaling or warning, this can force other drivers to make dangerous maneuvers to stop or avoid the truck, causing accidents.
Compensation for Cement Truck Injuries
The owner and driver of a cement truck can often be held jointly responsible for injuries the truck causes. In most states, the truck driver’s employer can be held liable for the actions of its employees. If the truck driver makes irresponsible or dangerous decisions on the road, the concrete, construction, or trucking company that owns and runs the truck could be financially responsible. This may allow you to recover substantial compensation.
If the company that hired the driver was negligent in making hiring decisions, you could seek compensation for those errors, directly. If their driver had a history of poor driving, DUI/DWI, or certain health conditions (like sleep apnea), the company could have been putting a dangerous driver behind the wheel. If this caused your injuries, you could seek substantial compensation.
If you were working with or alongside a cement truck, you might be entitled to compensation for any injuries you suffered. The machinery on a cement truck is always moving. There are also ramps and slides used to pour the concrete. These can lead to serious injury if mishandled. Additionally, working around the truck might be dangerous. When trying to maneuver the truck into a position to pour concrete, the driver’s poor visibility and fatigue from driving could lead to accidents.
Whether you were harmed in another car on the road, as a pedestrian, or as a bystander in a cement truck accident, you could be entitled to payments. These may cover your medical expenses, lost wages (if you missed work because of your injuries), and your pain and suffering. The specific rules of your state might limit recovery, so talk to an attorney right away.
If You Were Hit by a Cement Truck in Philadelphia, Our Attorneys Can Help
If you or a family member was a victim of a cement truck accident, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia truck accident attorney. The injury attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm possess decades of combined personal injury law experience, and we are prepared to use this knowledge to represent you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, call The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940, or contact us online.