Commercial vehicles are a constant on our highways, streets, and roads. Most truckers are careful drivers and handle their vehicles with appropriate caution. However, accidents can still occur and don’t always happen because of something the truck driver did.
Most Common Causes of Georgia Truck Accidents
More than 8,600 people sustained injuries in Georgia truck crashes during one recent year, according to information from the state Department of Transportation. Many of these crashes stem from errors made by the truck driver, the trucking company, or other parties involved in the trucking industry. Sometimes a parts malfunction or poorly designed roadway can lead to a crash. Some of the most common causes of Georgia truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue: Tired truck drivers can make mistakes and cause catastrophic accidents. Federal rules limit driving hours, but some drivers break the rules to meet deadlines. In some cases, trucking companies push their drivers to break Hours of Service rules, meaning they might share liability for an accident.
- Distracted driving: Truckers who drive while using phones, eating, or not paying attention to the road can cause catastrophic crashes. Truck drivers must stay focused on driving safely, which is why FMCSA regulations ban truckers from even holding a cell phone while driving unless they have a hands-free system.
- Speeding: Going too fast makes it harder for big trucks to stop quickly because of how much tractor-trailers weigh. When truck drivers speed, they risk losing control and causing serious accidents.
- Poor vehicle maintenance: Semi-trucks need regular check-ups to stay safe on the road. If truck maintenance crews don’t do their jobs correctly or trucking companies don’t have adequate maintenance schedules, their negligence can lead to brake failure, tire blowouts, and other problems that cause crashes.
- Improper loading: If a truck’s cargo isn’t loaded correctly, it can shift during transit and unbalance the truck, possibly leading to a dangerous accident, such as a rollover or a jackknife.
- Parts malfunction: If a truck’s systems or components fail, they can cause a crash. The truck or parts manufacturer could be held liable.
- Inadequate driver training: Driving a big truck is not easy, and new drivers need proper training. That’s why both the federal government and Georgia have strict requirements for anyone wishing to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Inexperienced or poorly trained drivers are more likely to make mistakes that could cause a collision.
- Weather conditions: Rain, snow, and ice can make roads slippery and dangerous. Truck drivers should take additional precautions during bad weather to avoid accidents.
- Poor road design or maintenance: When a roadway isn’t designed, constructed, or maintained in a way that makes it safe for traffic, the entity who designed, built, or maintained the road could be held liable for someone injured in a crash caused by these factors.
- Impaired driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and puts everyone at risk. Moreover, the legal limit for truck drivers is a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04 percent, while the legal limit for passenger drivers is 0.08 percent.
- Aggressive driving: Tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes, and other aggressive behaviors from truck drivers can lead to accidents. Truck drivers must stay calm and patient to keep themselves and other motorists safe.
- Blind spots: Semi-trucks have large blind spots, making it hard for truck drivers to see nearby vehicles. Accidents can happen when truckers don’t check their mirrors or signal before changing lanes.
Injured in a Truck Crash? Our Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help
Knowing the common causes of Georgia truck accidents can help you determine who’s liable for your crash-related injuries, but you still have a long way to go if you want to recover compensation. The Georgia truck accident attorneys at the W. Winston Briggs Law Firm are ready to go to work for you. We can use your medical records, crash scene photos, the police accident report, and other evidence to build a strong compensation case.
From there, we can initiate settlement negotiations with the liable parties and their insurance companies. We will vigorously protect your rights throughout the negotiations, and we’re prepared to take your case to court if the defendants won’t agree to a reasonable settlement.
The W. Winston Briggs Law Firm knows how catastrophic truck accidents are and wants to help you through this tough time. Call us today at (404) 522-1500 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.