Marietta, Georgia Trucking Accident Attorney - Causes and Statistics of Trucking Accidents
Because of their size and longer reaction times, accidents involving tractor trailers are far more likely to cause fatalities and serious injuries. Large trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and be up to 75 feet long. Because of this, tractor trailers are more likely to roll over or jackknife if involved in an accident, and trucking accidents are more likely to be serious and involve fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a tractor trailer is 20 to 55% more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than a passenger car.
Georgia has the unfortunate distinction of being among the top five states in the U.S. with the highest number of trucking accidents. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, one out of six fatalities from car crashes in Georgia involves a tractor trailer. There are several causes for tractor trailer accidents, including driver error, equipment failure, traffic law violations, and poor road conditions or design. In most cases there is some form of negligence involved. An experienced Marietta trucking accident attorney will identify all parties at fault and help a client get the compensation needed.Driver errorDriver error is the leading cause of tractor trailer accidents in the U.S. Several issues contribute to driver error, including intoxication, aggressive driving, drowsiness or fatigue, distractions, and inadequate training. Other factors that contribute to driver error are improperly loaded or overloaded cargo, inattention, illness, lack of familiarity with the road, over the counter drug use, and inexperience.
Driver fatigue and drowsiness lead to a large number of tractor trailer accidents. Because of this, the Federal Carrier Safety Administration (FCSA) sets federal guidelines for maximum hours of service for tractor trailer drivers. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol also accounts for a large portion of trucking accidents. While driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol carries heavy criminal penalties, drivers and companies can also be found civilly liable.Equipment failure
Equipment failure can happen as a result of a design flaw, or if the company or driver fails to properly maintain the tractor trailer. Large trucks require a considerable amount of maintenance to ensure proper and safe operation. This can often be costly and time consuming. However, federal and Georgia laws require that maintenance be documented and performed regularly to ensure safety. Negligence can result from failure to maintain several components including the steering mechanism, brakes, accelerator, fuel lines, tires, chassis, wheels, and lighting equipment.
Design flaws can also cause equipment failure leading to a trucking accident. Tractor trailer manufacturers have been found guilty of negligence related to design problems including unsafe seatbelts, weak truck under ride guards, flammability and roof crush.Poor road conditions and poor road design
Sometimes, truck accidents can be caused by poor road conditions and design. Factors may include weather conditions, construction, poor signage and warnings, debris left on the road, poorly designed intersections, and dangerous merging lanes. In several of these cases, the government may be guilty of negligence. Time limits and requirements involving the government are different than those involving private individuals and companies. For this reason, it is important to contact a Marietta trucking accident attorney immediately to make sure that important deadlines are not missed.Traffic violations
A truck driver who causes an accident as a result of a traffic law violation is considered to be acting in a negligent manner. According to the NHTSA, in 2006 24% of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had a previous speeding ticket. Traffic violations include speeding, but also encompass tailgating, failure to yield the right of way, running red lights, and improper lane changes. A qualified Marietta trucking accident attorney will help a tractor trailer accident victim identify all possible grounds for a negligence lawsuit against a trucking company and/or its driver.
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