Truck & Commercial Vehicle Accidents
The number of large trucks traveling on highways is increasing every year. Because trucking companies and truck drivers are motivated by profit, safety concerns are sometimes neglected and the consequences of such carelessness can be and often are tragic.
The differences in potential for personal injury in a car collision versus a trucking collision are staggering. In a rear impact collision, the potential for injury is determined by the calculated change in velocity of the car that is struck. For instance, when a small passenger car weighing about 3,500 pounds is struck from behind by a minivan weighing about 4,500 pounds going just 8 miles per hour, the car is accelerated almost instantly to 3.6 miles per hour. It is this instant acceleration that can potentially cause injury to unsuspecting passengers. When the vehicle is struck, the seatback and headrest is thrust into the back and head of the passengers and this will cause the head to flex violently backward. After this movement, the head and neck are then thrust forward after the head and back rebound off of the seatback. This is the whiplash effect.
What happens when a 80,000 pound tractor trailer, also going just 8 miles per hour, strikes the same car? That car is accelerated almost instantly to 7.6 miles per hour – this is over twice the acceleration as when struck by a minivan. For the minivan to accelerate the car to 7.6 miles per hour, that minivan would have to be travelling over 16 miles per hour. This is why tractor trailer collisions tend to cause more severe injuries that car on car collisions.
What are some of the reasons for trucking collisions in Georgia and other states? Despite rules enacted by the Department of Transportation, truck drivers often drive too many hours without the proper amount of sleep. To get around these regulations, some truck drivers falsify travel logs and fail to properly maintain their trucks and trailers. A tired driver cannot perceive and react to a situation as quickly as a rested driver. Often, some truck drivers also drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The perception and reaction time of an intoxicated driver is also diminished – it has also been proven to be lower than that of a sober person.
The lawyers at McAleer Law understand the legal and practical problems associated with semi-truck accidents, tractor-trailer collisions, and 18-wheeler crashes. We handle semi-truck and 18-wheeler crashes and collisions throughout Georgia and across the Southeast. Semi truck crashes and 18-wheeler accident cases present unique issues not associated with a typical car crash or motor vehicle accident. These differences include:
- Federal motor carrier safety regulations: federal regulations and safe operating requirements for commercial truck drivers, common carriers, vehicles, and vehicle equipment
- Hazardous materials regulations: federal regulations and safe operating requirements for the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials, proper packaging, employee training, hazard communication, and operational requirements
- Hours -of -service: federal regulations regarding driver alertness and fatigue-related incidents
- Corporate liability: negligent hiring, supervision, and truck maintenance claims
For further information about a truck accident that may involve a fatal accident that requires a wrongful death lawsuit, please contact McAleer Law for a free case consultation. We can also help you if you were hurt while driving for your job and need to file a workers’ compensation claim. McAleer will be happy to be your truck accident lawyer.