Many trucks travel across our roads in Georgia every day and, unfortunately, accidents happen all the time, and the number of collisions with 18-wheelers is increasing. According to a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these types of accidents have increased 20% in the last two decades.
Accidents involving tractor trailers can be extremely destructive, as the greater size, weight and speed of these vehicles can cause tragic injuries and even death when they collide with other cars on the road. According to the FMCSA, nearly 5,000 people died and 130,000 people were badly hurt in accidents involving large trucks in 2002.
There are many different things that can cause these devastating crashes. One of the most dangerous causes of these wrecks is improper maintenance of the big rigs themselves.
Preservation of Trucks and Equipment
Nearly 25% of trucking accidents are due to brake failure, according to the Department of Transportation. There are strict federal regulations that determine how frequently trucks need to be maintained. Additionally, all drivers are required to perform inspection checks of the truck and trailer at the beginning of each trip. Failing to keep up with proper maintenance or failing to check the truck out prior to getting on the road can have devastating consequences. These trucks carry heavy loads and create a lot of wear and tear on the tires and brakes. It is highly negligent not to ensure these things are working at all times.
Tires must be well maintained, too. Drivers and inspectors must ensure that tires have enough tread depth to safely carry a heavy load down the highway. Tires that are different sizes or have two different tread depths should not be paired up. Tires must maintain a proper pressure, and drivers and inspectors need to look out for damaged tires. Too much tread wear, tread and sidewall damage, and air leakage can cause blowouts and accidents.
Proper Care of Vehicle and Cargo
While accidents can be caused by maintenance failure, sometimes safety measures are purposefully altered as well. Some drivers disable the front brakes on the truck and rely only on downshifting and the trailer’s brakes to stop. This can save some of the wear and tear on the brakes and tires, but is very dangerous and highly illegal. By disabling the front brakes, a tractor trailer may not be able to stop in time, especially if it is carrying an extremely heavy load. Disabling the front brakes could even cause a truck to jackknife.
Loading the truck carefully is also very important. The driver or loader must ensure that all of the cargo is stored in a balanced way. An unbalanced load will affect how quickly the vehicle can stop, and can make it dangerous to make sharp turns. It is also important not to pack more into a trailer than it is supposed to hold.
If you or a loved one were injured in a trucking accident, it is imperative that you call an experienced Georgia trucking lawyer attorney as soon as possible. Large trucks always have large insurance policies, and it can be difficult if not impossible to get a fair settlement on your own.
Ty Wilson is a Georgia personal injury lawyer who helps people who have been injured in trucking accidents. He dedicates himself to educating the injured as well because he believes the more knowledge you have, the more power you have. Visit tywilsonlaw.com to read his articles, watch his videos and to download/order his FREE BOOKS.
Call Ty today at 866-937-5454 if you have specific questions for a Georgia accident attorney and to discuss your claim.
Be informed. Be aware. Be prepared.