A truck accident in Indianapolis can cause monumental damage. Identifying and understanding the common causes of these accidents can help both truck drivers and other motorists avoid them. If you’re injured in a truck accident, contact a lawyer at an Indianapolis law firm.
Common Causes of Indiana Truck Accidents
Speeding is probably the most common catalyst for a truck accident in Indianapolis. Speeding of any kind can be dangerous to motorists and those with whom they share the road, but considering the massive weight of a fully loaded commercial truck (sometimes up to 80,000 pounds, compared with the 2,000- to 3,000-pound standard size of a regular passenger car), the consequences of a speeding truck can be disastrous.
2. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is just as likely to cause a truck accident as it is to cause any other type of accident in Indianapolis. The only difference is that if a truck driver is distracted from the road and causes an accident, then the resultant damage is likely to be significantly greater. Truck drivers who take their attention away from the road to use cell phones, radios, in-cab televisions or other electronic devices can be held liable for accidents.
3. Inexperienced Drivers
New, inexperienced truck drivers are responsible for an inordinate number of commercial truck accidents. Rookie drivers are less likely to understand the full scope of the dangers of handling a big rig truck and more likely to stretch the limits of what’s acceptable. Truck companies have a duty to check the driving record and commercial trucking license of new hires and should have proper safety and training protocol for all employees.
4. Drowsy Driving
Federal regulations exist to prevent fatigued driving, but it’s still one of the top accident causes. Commercial truck drivers are paid to drive, and the more they drive, the more they get paid. Unfortunately, that simple equation becomes complicated when drivers forge log entries that are supposed to document accurately how much time they spent driving and off-duty.
By driving longer than they are authorized, truckers can put themselves and others in jeopardy. A trucker who works longer than what federal regulations state (14 hours), putting him or herself in a fatigue state, is equivalent of having a blood alcohol content of .08.
5. Jackknife Crashes
Jackknifing tractor trailers can wreak havoc on roadways when drivers attempt to brake or turn too quickly. When a trucker loses control of his vehicle, the tractor trailer may swing wide when the momentum of the trailer forces the trailer to go into an opposite direction as the cab, slamming into other cars on the road that are behind and next to the big rig.
Not all truck accidents can be prevented, but knowing prevention tactics is half the battle. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a truck accident in Indianapolis, contact an attorney who knows how to investigate commercial truck accidents and defend your claim against the aggressive tactics of trucking companies.