Common causes of truck accidents in Atlanta include driver fatigue, speeding, and drunk driving. As Atlanta is a major transportation hub with multiple highways and interstates, the city experiences a significant number of truck-related traffic accidents and injuries. If you were hurt in an accident with a commercial truck, a Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer can help you seek compensation.
Due to their massive size and weight, 18-wheeled vehicles, also known as semi-trucks or tractor-trailers, can cause catastrophic damage and fatalities when involved in an accident. Both truck drivers and other drivers on the road are urged to use caution, follow traffic laws, and be aware of potential risk factors to mitigate the likelihood of accidents. Legal regulations and safety standards are also in place to address and ideally prevent them from occurring.
Common Causes of Atlanta Truck Crashes
Truck drivers may be responsible for traffic accidents due to a variety of factors, including fatigue, distracted driving, speeding, failure to yield, and more. Causes of commercial vehicle accidents that may entitle you to compensation include:
Long-haul truck drivers often work long hours and can easily experience fatigue, possibly leading to markedly impaired concentration and delayed reaction times. Both federal and state trucking laws have hours-of-service regulations in place to limit the time a driver can operate their vehicle, but violations sometimes still occur. To meet deadlines, trucking companies may even encourage drivers to bend or break these laws.
Driving over the speed limits, particularly on highways and interstates, can result in semi-truck accidents. These vehicles generate tremendous force, take longer to stop, and can be challenging to maneuver at high speeds. Additionally, speeding can increase the risk of the driver losing control, leading to rollovers or collisions with standard cars and trucks. Rollovers occur when a vehicle tips over to one side or completely rolls over one or more times.
Like all drivers, truckers can become distracted by using a cell phone, eating, or adjusting controls in the truck’s cab. Distracted driving is a significant concern as it draws the truck driver’s focus away from the road, making it challenging for them to respond in time to avoid potential hazards. Even a momentary lapse in attention can have disastrous consequences.
Driving While Intoxicated
Drunk or drugged driving is a common contributing factor in many car accidents, including those involving tractor-trailers. When a truck driver is under the influence, their response time, judgment, and coordination are compromised, increasing the likelihood of a potentially devastating accident.
Even prescription drugs can have significant effects on a driver’s ability to stay awake, be attentive, and react to potential hazards. The motor carrier may also be considered at fault in these events, as they are responsible for adhering to federal requirements concerning driver drug and alcohol testing.
Aggressive, reckless, or careless driving behaviors, such as tailgating, excessive speeding, and weaving in and out of traffic, can increase the risk of truck accidents. These actions endanger the truck driver and other motorists on the road. Additionally, reckless driving can cause a loss of control, resulting in rollovers, jackknifes, and other types of accidents.
Lack of Awareness of Blind Spots
Large trucks are infamous for having large blind spots, and accidents can occur when passenger vehicles travel in areas less visible to the truck’s operator. For this reason, long-haul truckers may fail to acknowledge these spots and maneuver their vehicles accordingly. Other drivers are encouraged to avoid these blind spots whenever necessary so as not to contribute to an accident.
Failure To Yield Right of Way
When truck drivers or nearby passenger vehicles fail to yield the right of way to others on the road and enter their lane without caution, severe accidents can occur. These can result from driver error, carelessness, fatigue, or distracted driving on the part of either the trucker or the passenger vehicle’s operator.
Failure To Obey Traffic Signals
When drivers of large trucks or passenger vehicles run stop signs or red lights, or violate other traffic signals, these can lead to T-bone accidents. These collisions involve one vehicle crashing head-on into another vehicle’s side, the impact of which forms a “T” shape.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in any of these types of accidents, our truck accident attorney will advocate for your right to financial compensation.
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How Can Trucking Companies Cause Accidents in Atlanta?
Motor carriers and their insurance providers are typically responsible for compensation when one of their drivers causes or is involved in an accident. However, sometimes these companies are directly at fault for various reasons, including:
Untrained or inadequately trained drivers who lack the experience or skills needed to safely operate a large truck can be the cause of some accidents. They may have difficulty maneuvering, braking, or navigating road conditions, placing themselves and others at risk. While the driver’s actions may directly cause the accident, in many cases, motor carriers are ultimately responsible for failing to train their employees and ensuring they are qualified to drive on the road.
Occasionally, semi-truck accidents partially or wholly result from mechanical failures, such as braking issues, tire blowouts, or steering problems. For these reasons, regular maintenance and repair are not only crucial to preventing these issues but also required by law. Failure to ensure vehicles are up-to-code and safe to operate is typically the fault of the motor carrier or maintenance shop they employ.
Other Potentially Liable Parties for a Truck Collision
There could be more than one responsible party in your commercial truck accident case. If so, our legal team can investigate your accident to determine liability. We may find any of the following parties responsible for your financial compensation:
- Manufacturers—Even with adequate inspections and repairs, truck parts and components can still fail. When this occurs, the manufacturer, distributor, or seller can be liable for defective parts or components.
- Loaders and shippers—Poorly loaded or overloaded trucks can cause unbalanced or shifting cargo to affect the vehicle’s stability, leading to issues with maneuvering and loss of control. In addition, improper loading can lead to cargo falling off the truck, posing a substantial danger to other vehicles behind them on the road.
- Local governments responsible for road safety—Road hazards, such as potholes, uneven surfaces, and poor road maintenance or design, can contribute to accidents when drivers are unable to prepare for these issues. Moreover, if there is inadequate warning signage around construction areas and road obstacles, an accident can occur when drivers are oblivious to the dangers or uncertain how to navigate them.
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How Adverse Weather Conditions Play a Role in Atlanta Trucking Accidents
Poor weather conditions, such as heavy rain, ice, snow, fog, or high winds, can reduce visibility and road traction, making accidents more likely. Drivers can slide, slam into the motorist in front of them, or side-swipe other vehicles when they drift across the road into another lane.
When a big rig collides with a passenger car or truck, they can push them off the road into a ditch, another vehicle, or even an oncoming lane. With the possible exception of natural disasters, one or both drivers may be held responsible, as they are still expected to adjust to the conditions accordingly and take extra precautions.
Contact Our Truck Crash Law Firm to Learn More
At Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, our team of attorneys regularly handles truck accident cases and can provide you with the guidance and legal advocacy you deserve. We understand the complexities of these cases and will work diligently to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free case review to discuss your rights and options for pursuing the justice you deserve.