Large trucks are a fairly normal sight on Louisiana roadways. While tractor trailers might be necessary for moving goods across the state, they are also dangerous. Trucking accidents tend to be severe, causing traumatic and even fatal injuries.
There are many different factors that contribute to truck accidents. You already know that these trucks weigh more than the average vehicle, but did you know it could be as much 30 times more? All that weight is one of the reasons that accidents between large trucks and smaller passenger vehicles can be so severe.
Braking is an issue
The more a truck weighs, the longer it takes to come to a full stop. This means that truckers need to be alert and ready to react at all times. Unfortunately, many truck drivers spend long stretches of time on the road, and it is easy to become complacent, making reaction times less than ideal.
Another problem is that there are a lot of trucks on the road with defective braking systems. In a study that examined large trucks that had been involved in accidents, researchers determined that over half had one or more mechanical violations, 30% of which were serious enough that the truck should not have been on the road in the first place. Brake defects were the most common.
Truck driver fatigue
Researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety determined that truck drivers are twice as likely to cause a crash after spending eight hours behind the wheel. Despite this, truck drivers are often on the road for much longer. Hours-of-service violations are also linked to an increased likelihood of causing an accident.
Truck drivers actually spend more time on the road today than they did in the past. In 2004, work rules changed regarding hours of service, giving drivers the opportunity to “restart” their workweek by taking a 34-hour off-duty period. This means that drivers can accumulate 70 hours in an eight day period, take fewer than 48 hours off and be back on the road.
Truck injuries are serious
Surviving a truck accident can be a traumatic experience. The physical injuries associated with these types of accidents are often severe and require long term care, treatment and rehabilitation. A few of the injuries more commonly associated with truck accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Spinal injuries
Recovery is not only a long process but also an expensive one. Victims of trucking accidents often have to take time off work, which makes paying medical bills even harder without a paycheck. Victims of trucking accidents just like yourself are often unsure of where to turn for help, but many find that securing compensation through personal injury claims is essential for the future.