Causes of Truck Accidents
Roanoke truck accident attorneys who understand tractor-trailer crashes explain causes
Truck accidents happen for many different reasons. But in many cases, an accident occurs because the truck driver or trucking company acted carelessly or recklessly. If you were injured through no fault of your own or a loved one died, we will fight for you. We can help you seek the money you rightfully deserve for your truck accident injury.
Established in 1891, the Law Firm of Davis, Davis, Davis & Davis, PC, has long history of successfully helping injury victims in Virginia get compensation to cover the true cost of their accident and live their lives with dignity.
DISCLAIMER: The settlements and verdicts listed here represent a sampling of the case results pursued and won by Davis, Davis, Davis & Davis, PC. Please note that every case is different and these verdicts and settlements, while accurate, do not represent what we may obtain for you in your case. Nor does it mean that we win all of our cases - we don't.
One recent case result for a truck accident victim was a $100,000 settlement.
What are the common causes of tractor-trailer accidents in Virginia?
There are many reasons why tractor-trailer accidents and other crashes involving commercial trucks occur in Virginia. Some contributing factors are more common than others. Negligence by truck drivers or the companies they work for typically include:
- Distracted truck drivers
- Texting truck drivers
- Speeding truck drivers
- Tired truck drivers
- Overloaded trucks
- Inexperienced truck drivers
Whatever the cause of your truck accident, we can give your case the attention it rightfully deserves. We know how to investigate trucking companies and find the facts you need to build a strong case. We're ready and eager to work with you. Contact us today.
Distracted truck drivers
Truck drivers sometimes try to multitask while driving a tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler, which puts everyone sharing the road at risk. Instead of focusing on the single important task of driving their commercial vehicle, they may be looking at a GPS. One hand may be on the wheel while the other is clutching a cup of coffee. They're simply trying to do too many tasks at one time.
Some examples of distracted driving are work related. But many have nothing to do with work and simply take the driver's attention away from the road. Regardless of the reason, any kind of distraction can lead to an increased chance of an accident. Some of the most common causes of distracted driving accidents involving truck drivers include:
- Operating a GPS device
- Communicating with trucking company dispatcher
- Talking on a cellphone
- Texting while driving
- Eating while driving
- Watching videos while driving
Texting while driving is against the law nationwide for all commercial truckers. But that doesn't stop some truck drivers from texting behind the wheel. They may have texted dozens or even hundreds of times without incident. They may convince themselves that it's safe to send or receive text messages. But scientific studies find that texting and driving increase the risk of accident by 23 times. And when a texting-related crash happens, the consequences can often be catastrophic.
Many truck drivers who cause accidents deny texting while driving. An experienced accident attorney knows how investigate such accidents and find the facts to prove a truck driver broke the law and put other people's lives in danger.
Remember, you didn't do anything wrong. You shouldn't have to suffer because of someone else's illegal behavior. Our aggressive attorneys can work with you and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve for your crash.
Accidents involving speeding tractor-trailers can be serious. A fully loaded big-rig truck can weigh more than 80,000 pounds - or 20 times larger than a passenger vehicle. When these giant trucks crash into cars at a high rate of speed, the consequences can be deadly.
Many highway truck accidents involve speeding trucks. We understand commercial truck drivers face tremendous pressure to get from one location to another. But there's no reason a driver should put other people's lives in danger just because he wants to save a few minutes.
Proving that a truck driver was speeding can be hard. We know what evidence to look for and how to read an accident report. We take such cases very seriously because we believe strongly that speeding drivers should be held accountable for their actions.
Commercial truck drivers are supposed to take mandatory breaks every day. Unfortunately, many trucks drivers don't do so. Sometimes, they decide to keep driving long after they should stop. Other times, trucking companies put pressure on drivers to work longer hours.
Whatever the reason, many truck drivers often fall asleep at the wheel, causing serious, sometimes fatal truck accidents. Fatigued trucker accidents often result in serious injuries or fatalities because the truck driver didn't slow down before crashing into another vehicle. A fatigued driver doesn't have to fall asleep to cause an accident. An Australian study found that a driver who is awake for as many as 18 hours produces an impairment equal to a blood alcohol concentration of .05. A driver who is awake after 24 hours has an impairment equal to .10. In Virginia, a driver of a passenger vehicle is considered legally drunk at .08. The standard is higher for truck drivers who are considered legally drunk if they have a BAC of .04 or greater.
We aggressively investigate tired driver accidents caused by truckers in Virginia. We often request the log books from truck drivers and trucking companies verifying that the driver took mandatory breaks. Most commercial drivers must follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Hours of Service regulations which contain an 11-hour daily driving limit and a 14-hour work day limit for property-carrying drivers.
Specific weight limits exist for tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers and other large vehicles. For example, large commercial trucks must not exceed 20,000 pounds per axle, according to regulations set forth by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. A truck that is more than 80,000 pounds is considered overloaded. These weight limits exist because overloaded trucks are harder to stop and prone to rollover accidents, especially when driving around corners or exit ramps on the highway. Trucking companies also must properly secure cargo.
Accidents involving overloaded commercial trucks wreak havoc on our highways and roads in Southwest Virginia. When an overloaded truck crashes into a car, such accidents frequently involve serious injuries or even fatalities.
Records indicating how much weight was placed on the truck should be checked to see if they match the contents of the commercial vehicle. Skid marks and other physical evidence should also be examined. We routinely examine all this evidence and more in pursuit of justice.
Commercial truck drivers are required to have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and undergo specific training before they can legally operate a tractor-trailer or another type of commercial vehicle. Unfortunately, some truck drivers - and trucking companies - cut corners.
Instead of hiring experienced, qualified drivers, some trucking companies employ inexperienced drivers who put everyone on the road at risk. We can check the records for the trucking company and the driver as part of our accident investigation.
We aggressively search for this information because we believe inexperienced truck drivers - and the careless trucking company that hired the driver - should be held accountable for their actions. Call (866) 434-1581 and discover what we can do for you.