Lexington, KY 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer
18-wheeler trucks and big rigs are among the largest vehicles we see on a daily basis on Kentucky roads, interstates, and highways. Around Lexington, Kentucky, especially, we see a lot of 18-wheeler traffic on both I-75 and I-64. As massive and powerful as these trucks are, devastation is almost always the result when a mistake is made and a major truck accident occurs. Unfortunately, lives are sometimes even lost.
As horrific as these truck accidents tend to be, the most unfortunate part might be the fact that, in many cases, these accidents are entirely preventable. Truck drivers make mistakes or drive negligently more often than they should, and U.S. trucking corporations don’t take enough preventive measures in order to prevent these devastating accidents from happening.
If you or someone or you know was involved in a truck accident involving an 18-wheeler, it’s in your best interest to contact a Lexington, KY 18-wheeler accident lawyer as quickly as possible. Doing so may enable your family to file a lawsuit against the guilty party. If the accident was caused by a fatigued driver or a trucking company that failed to install the correct safety features, for instance, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation that can help you and your loved ones recover.
Examining the Causes of Major 18-Wheeler Accidents
Commercial truck accidents tend to be deadlier than accidents between passenger vehicles due to the sheer weight, size, and force behind 18-wheeler trucks. The larger and heavier a truck is, the harder it is for the driver to stop. This makes it difficult for truck drivers to avoid causing an accident. When an accident does occur between an 18-wheeler and a passenger car, the smaller car and its passengers will generally be the ones to suffer most.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 3,744 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in the year 2014. 88,000 were involved in non-fatal crashes that resulted in injuries. These numbers are slightly lower in comparison to previous years, but considering the inherent dangers of 18-wheeler-caused accidents, these numbers are still astoundingly high.
Most 18-wheeler accidents, when they are caused by driver negligence, result from the following:
In countries like Canada and Europe, 18-wheeler truck manufacturers are heavy regulated. Most foreign trucks, for example, are required to be made with the latest technology ensuring that the driver is alerted when other vehicles are too close. The U.S. trucking industry has no similar guidelines in place. Most U.S. trucking companies, in fact, prioritize cost effectiveness over safety. This causes trucking equipment to lag behind technologically and become defective quickly.
Despite cargo regulations being in place, U.S. truck corporations overload their trailers on a surprisingly regular basis in order to reduce costs. This makes the trailers heavier than they should be. If the driver is forced to make a quick turn or drives in windy conditions, overloading can cause an 18-wheeler to topple over into traffic, causing a dangerous rollover accident.
U.S. commercial truck drivers are expected to take breaks and get enough rest while making deliveries cross-country, but many drivers fail to adhere to these standards. Additionally, many companies do not properly enforce these standards or track how many hours their employees are driving, making it easy for drivers to break the rules. Driver fatigue leads to numerous of 18-wheeler accidents every year.
Commercial truck drivers are expected to adhere to certain speed limitations at all times. Sometimes, drivers are in a hurry and neglect to follow this regulation, especially in the middle of the night on open roads. An accident caused by a speeding 18-wheeler is most certainly a death sentence for anyone inside a smaller vehicle.
Today’s drivers are all subject to a wide variety of distractions ranging from cell phone usage to texting, checking electronic devices for social media/GPS/music, etc., or simply getting distracted by other passengers and/or surroundings. Commercial truck drivers are no exception and can become distracted just as easily as a driver of a passenger vehicle. The only difference is the fact that truck drivers can cause an accident that’s significantly more severe in nature.
Getting Help from a Lexington, KY 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or lost their life in an 18-wheeler truck accident and you feel that one or more element from the above list may have caused the accident, you owe it to yourself and your family to find out what really happened. If the accident was caused by negligence, taking legal action against the truck driver, truck manufacturer, or trucking company may prevent future accidents by way of forcing the negligent party to follow regulations. When enough lawsuits are filed, the government may additionally step in and change regulations in order to make our roads safer.
With the help of an experienced truck accident attorney like Todd W. Burris, Lexington, KY 18-wheeler accident lawyer, you can help send a message to the trucking industry and to government officials who are in charge of enforcing trucking regulations. The safety of our loved ones must be made a priority over profit. 18-wheeler trucks are inherently dangerous. It’s up to the trucking industry to ensure that these trucks are as safe as they can be and that the drivers are at their best while behind the wheel.
For more information or a free case consultation, contact Todd W. Burris today.