Dangers and Legal Complexities of Common Types of Large Trucks

Large trucks play a crucial role in our society, transporting goods, aiding in construction, and providing essential services. However, their imposing size and weight make them potential hazards on the road. When accidents involving these vehicles occur, the consequences can be devastating. In this blog post, we will delve into some of the common types of large trucks, their inherent risks, and the complexities involved in seeking legal compensation in the aftermath of an accident.

  1. Dump/Garbage Trucks: Increasing Risks and Operational Challenges Dump and garbage trucks have witnessed a significant rise in accidents in recent years. Several factors contribute to the dangers associated with these vehicles. Operating during early hours when visibility is limited, frequent starting and stopping, and drivers sometimes failing to pull over when picking up trash, all contribute to the increased risk of accidents. Such collisions can result in severe damage and injuries, demanding a thorough examination of liability.
  2. Tractor-Trailers: A Looming Danger on the Roads Tractor-trailers, with their immense size and high center of gravity, pose substantial risks in crashes. Blind spots and maneuverability issues further heighten the danger. These vehicles require a significant distance to come to a complete stop, and their height can allow smaller vehicles to slide underneath during an impact. Shockingly, statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reveal that approximately 68% of deaths in tractor-trailer accidents involve occupants of passenger vehicles, emphasizing the need for heightened safety measures.
  3. Tanker Trucks: Potential Explosive Hazards Tanker trucks, carrying hazardous liquids, present a unique set of dangers. The flammable cargo they transport, combined with the heat or spark generated by an accident, can create a potentially explosive situation. In addition to fires, collisions with tanker trucks can lead to chemical burns and the release of toxic fumes, causing grave injuries and long-term health issues. Legal cases involving tanker truck accidents require a comprehensive understanding of hazardous material regulations and liability assessment.
  4. Flatbed Trucks: Unsecured Cargo and Increased Devastation Flatbed trucks are commonly used to transport large, heavy, or irregularly shaped items. In the event of a collision, these items can shift or become dislodged, exacerbating the damage caused by the crash. Loose cargo may fall onto other vehicles or the highway, posing significant hazards. Improperly secured cargo can affect the truck’s stability and braking, potentially leading to accidents and loss of control. Evaluating liability in flatbed truck accidents necessitates an examination of cargo loading and securement practices.
  5. Tow Trucks: Ensuring Secure Towing for Public Safety When a car is being towed, inadequate securing of the vehicle can result in it detaching and striking other vehicles. In cases where the towed car is elevated on a platform, there is a risk of it sliding off and causing severe damage to nearby vehicles. Tow truck accidents often involve complex liability scenarios, as responsibility can lie with the towing company, the driver, or even potential negligence on the part of the car owner.
  6. Buses: Frequent Stops and Potential Risks Buses, like garbage and dump trucks, frequently make stops, which increases the chances of accidents with other vehicles. School bus accidents, in particular, have been a cause for concern. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school bus crashes claimed the lives of 117 individuals across the nation in 2018. Ensuring the safety of passengers and other road users involves examining factors such as driver training, adherence to traffic regulations, and proper maintenance protocols.
  7. Construction Vehicles: Hazards in Work Zones Construction vehicle accidents are common in and around road construction areas, where these vehicles are often parked or moving on the edges of highways. Distractions caused by construction activities, inadequate safety signage, and errors on the part of construction vehicle operators can contribute to accidents. Statistics from the Federal Highway Administration indicate that thousands of motorists have lost their lives in work zone crashes. Establishing liability in construction vehicle accidents requires a thorough examination of safety regulations, adherence to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines, and potential negligence by construction companies.
  8. Delivery Trucks: Increasing Demand, Potential Risks The surge in online shopping has led to an exponential rise in demand for delivery vehicles. Unfortunately, some delivery companies hire inexperienced drivers without proper training, increasing the likelihood of accidents. When a delivery truck accident occurs, determining liability can be complex, as responsibility may lie with the driver, the company employing them, or even third-party delivery services. Legal teams play a crucial role in untangling this web of liability to ensure appropriate compensation for victims.

Large trucks, with their massive size and weight, present unique risks on the road. Understanding the dangers associated with different types of trucks is essential for both drivers and those seeking legal compensation in the event of an accident. Whether it’s due to negligence, inadequate safety measures, or complex liability scenarios, addressing the aftermath of a large truck accident requires a thorough understanding of the specific challenges posed by each type of truck involved. By recognizing these risks, we can work towards creating safer roads for everyone.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, call OnderLaw today for your free, no-obligation consultation.