Accidents between commercial trucks and cars can be particularly dangerous due to the significant size and weight disparities between the two vehicles. Commercial trucks are significantly larger than passenger cars, often weighing 20 to 30 times more. In a collision, the sheer mass of the truck can cause extensive damage to a car. These trucks, also known as semi trucks, large trucks, or tractor-trailers, are much larger and heavier than typical passenger cars. This size and weight difference can lead to severe consequences in the event of a collision.
It’s important to understand a bit of science involved in this type of accident. The momentum and kinetic energy of a large truck moving at even moderate speeds can result in a higher impact force during a collision. This force can lead to more severe injuries and greater damage to the involved vehicles.There is also the inertia and stopping distance to consider. Due to their size and weight, commercial trucks require longer distances to come to a complete stop. In emergency situations, a truck might not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision with a car.
Commercial trucks have large blind spots, also known as “no-zones,” where the truck driver’s visibility of surrounding vehicles is limited. Cars lingering in these blind spots are at risk of being involved in accidents when the truck changes lanes or makes turns.
That’s not all. Some commercial trucks transport hazardous materials or heavy cargo loads. In the event of an accident, spilled cargo or hazardous materials can pose additional risks to both car occupants and emergency responders.
Due to these factors, accidents involving commercial trucks and cars can result in serious injuries or fatalities for the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
Reasons for Truck Company Errors
Truck company errors can contribute to accidents involving commercial trucks. While the majority of Miami area trucking companies prioritize safety and adhere to regulations, there have been instances where errors or negligence on the part of trucking companies have played a role in accidents. Just some of the common truck company errors that can lead to serious accidents with cars include:
#1 Driver Fatigue
Less-than-stellar truck companies sometimes push their drivers to meet tight delivery schedules, leading to driver fatigue. This is dangerous. Fatigued drivers have slower reaction times, reduced attention, and impaired decision-making. All of these increase the risk of accidents.
#2 Hours of Service Violations
Trucking companies are required to adhere to federal regulations governing the number of hours a driver can operate a truck within a specific time frame. Violations of these regulations can lead to driver fatigue and an increased likelihood of accidents.
#3 Improper Training
Insufficient or inadequate training for drivers can lead to errors in handling the truck, braking, maneuvering, and other critical skills, potentially causing accidents.
#4 Lack of Maintenance
Truck companies must regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles to ensure they are in safe operating condition. Neglecting maintenance tasks such as brake inspections, tire checks, and engine repairs can result in accidents caused by mechanical failures.
#5 Overloading and Improper Cargo Securement
Truck companies must adhere to weight limits and proper cargo securement practices. Overloading a truck or improperly securing cargo can affect the truck’s stability and handling, leading to accidents.
#6 Neglecting Safety Technology
Modern trucks are equipped with safety technologies such as collision avoidance systems, lane departure warning systems, and electronic stability control. Truck companies that fail to invest in or maintain these technologies may increase the risk of accidents.
#7 Negligent Hiring Practices
The underlying issue may be the driver, but it’s still their responsibility to pay attention to who they put behind the wheel. Hiring drivers with poor driving records, traffic violations, or a history of accidents can increase the likelihood of accidents.
#8 Neglecting Safety Policies
Trucking companies should have safety policies in place that address issues like distracted driving, speeding, and following distance. Failing to enforce these policies can contribute to accidents.
#9 Pressuring Drivers
Some trucking companies might place undue pressure on drivers to meet tight delivery schedules, potentially encouraging risky behaviors such as speeding or driving in adverse conditions.
#10 Inadequate Communication
Poor communication between dispatchers, drivers, and other relevant personnel can lead to misunderstandings, missed instructions, and mistakes that contribute to accidents.
#11 Lack of Oversight
Trucking companies should have systems in place to monitor driver behavior, compliance with regulations, and vehicle maintenance. A lack of oversight can result in unsafe practices going unnoticed.
Hire Miami Accident Attorneys After a Truck Accident
If you feel anything mentioned above applies to your recent accident, it’s time to hire a truck accident/injury lawyer to fight on your behalf. After an accident with a semi-truck, it is very possible that you are entitled to damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Only an attorney can tell you for sure, so reach out to our lawyers today.