Drivers in Wilkes-Barre and Philadelphia have good reason to be uneasy around large trucks. While the average passenger vehicle weighs 4,000 pounds, an 18-wheeler may weigh some 80,000 pounds. Most collisions with big rigs end badly for those in the passenger vehicles. Below are just five of the most common reasons why trucks might collide with passenger cars.
The first and most frequent reason is driver error. Studies show that 81% of the time, it’s error on the part of passenger vehicle operators. Still, it’s not uncommon for truckers to drive drowsy, drunk or distracted. A second cause is bad weather; rain, snow and ice present a challenge for truckers because of the heavy weight and longer braking distance of their truck. In such weather, untrained truckers may wind up hydroplaning or jackknifing.
A third reason is poor vehicle maintenance as truckers may neglect their duty to submit a vehicle maintenance report every morning. Trucks with worn brake pads or cracked windshields are at a higher risk for a crash. Closely connected to this is equipment failure, for which the trucking company or the parts manufacturer may be to blame.
Lastly, accidents can occur because of improper cargo loading. Every load has limits regarding weight, height and size as well as certain requirements for securing it.
In cases where the trucker’s or trucking company’s negligence leads to a crash, the accident victim may speak with a personal injury lawyer about filing a claim. Truck crashes can involve catastrophic injuries, but this state gives victims two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. With a lawyer, a plaintiff may have access to a network of investigators who can build up the case with evidence against the defendant. The lawyer could handle all negotiations.