Everyone has likely felt some feeling of nervousness when driving next to a large truck. Truck accidents are some of the most dangerous accidents because of the sheer weight and size of commercial vehicles. No one wants to be in an accident with 18-wheeler or other commercial trucks because they have the potential to destroy your car and cause serious or fatal injuries. Unfortunately, commercial trucks sometimes cause accidents on a scale that is unavoidable for nearby motorists.
4 Common Causes of Truck Crashes in Pennsylvania
There are several factors that may contribute to a truck crash. However, some are more prevalent than others. Many of the common causes of truck accidents could be avoided if a commercial driver exercised caution. The following is a list of common causes of truck crashes.
1. Driver Error
Commercial trucks are large vehicles that require a skilled and cautious driver. Unfortunately, every truck driver on the road does not share these qualities. Some drivers will operate their trucks while they are fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other drivers may be inexperienced and have difficulty maneuvering the truck. It is important to note that some companies may allow or encourage truck drivers to work longer than the legally mandated hours a driver should adhere to.
2. Equipment Malfunction
Under some circumstances, the manufacturer of equipment for a commercial truck could be liable for your injuries. For example, if a manufacturer equips a truck with faulty brakes or tires if they malfunction and cause an accident the manufacturer may be liable to the motorists injured in the accident.
3. Inclement Weather
Adverse weather is a frequent cause of many truck accidents. A truck driver should be adequately trained to handle their vehicle in all forms of inclement weather. However, some truck drivers will continue to operate their trucks in the rain or snow the same way they would if the skies were clear and sunny. This typically results in an accident caused by the driver losing control of their truck.
4. Overloading the Truck
Some companies will attempt to reap more profits by transporting as many goods as they can in a single tractor-trailer. This is dangerous because the extra weight will make it more difficult to control the truck. Additionally, if the truck gets into an accident, the extra weight could mean the difference between causing another driver a serious injury or a fatal one.
What to Do If You Are in a Commercial Truck Accident
If you are involved in a commercial truck accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention for yourself and anyone else that was injured in the accident. After you contact an ambulance and law enforcement, you should begin gathering evidence if you are able.
You should ask the driver of the truck for their driver’s license, insurance policy, registration, license plate, and employer. It is important to get the name of their employer because they can likely be held liable for the driver’s actions. You should also photograph any injuries you received and the damage to your vehicle. Be sure to make a note of any adverse or inclement weather that could have contributed to the accident.
Once the police arrive and process the scene of the accident, you should ask them for a copy of the police report. You should also avoid speaking to any representatives the driver’s employer may send to assess the scene. The representative’s primary interest will be to minimize damage to their employer, and this may conflict with your interests to file a lawsuit.
You should also seek medical attention for your injuries. Inform the medical staff that of how you were injured so they can help you document your injuries.
Work with an Experienced Allentown Tractor Trailer Accident Attorney
If you or a family member was the victim of a tractor-trailer accident, you should speak with an experienced Allentown tractor-trailer accident attorney. The commercial accident attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm can help you build your claim against a negligent shipping company that was responsible for your injuries. To schedule a free legal consultation, call us at (215) 246-9000 or fill out our online contact form.