The highways and routes like Interstate-95, Interstate-195 and MA-Route 140 in Massachusetts and Rhode Island which connect local cities like New Bedford, Fall River and Providence are the scene of far too many car accidents involving commercial vehicles and tractor trailers. Factors like drowsy driving, distracted driving and multitasking behind the wheel increase the risk of these highway truck accidents. Due to the size and weight of some of these trucks, the damage to other vehicles and personal injury to those involved can be severe and in many cases lead to accidental death.
Factors in Large Truck Accidents
Most severe injuries and deaths in large truck crashes are suffered by the passenger vehicle occupants. This is mainly due to the vulnerability of people traveling in smaller vehicles. A commercial truck can weigh up to 30 times more than your average passenger car, plus they are taller with higher ground clearance. This means that it will take a truck far longer to stop when necessary, and it’s momentum could be crushing to any vehicles in its path. A fully loaded rig may take up to 40% farther than cars to stop, and this is before you consider factors like wet slippery roads, distracted driving and trucker fatigue. Federal regulations state that a property-carrying or passenger-carrying driver is allowed a period of 14 consecutive hours in which to drive up to 11 hours after being off duty for 10 or more consecutive hours.
Common Types of Highway Car Accidents Involving Commercial Trucks
- Rear-end Crashes: Rear-end collisions are often the result of the truck driver’s failure to deploy the brakes in time due to distracted driving, drowsy driving, or other factors. These types of truck accidents can be the most deadly.
- Blindspot Accidents: Most large trucks have four blind spots which can vary depending on the type of truck. Known as no-zones, these blind spots can be troublesome during lane changes or while executing a left or right-hand turn.
- Underride Accidents: Although most large trucks are equipped with guards to prevent rear-underride accidents, these guards are not always effective. Rear-underride and side-underride big rig accidents occur when a smaller vehicle collides with a large truck and slides or wedges beneath the trailer.
- Rollover Accidents: Many factors including improper loading, inclement weather, or mis-navigating a sharp turn on a steep decline/incline may increase the chances of a truck rollover. These types of truck accidents could be avoided with proper training and even loading of cargo.
- Jackknife Accidents: Jackknifing occurs when a large truck loses traction or brakes sharply, causing the momentum of the trailer portion of the truck to form a 90-degree angle with the rig. Because a jackknifed truck may be impossible for oncoming motorists to avoid, these accidents often involve multiple vehicles.
- Tire Blowouts: By law, drivers of large trucks must ensure that their tires are properly inflated. Under or over-inflated tires are more susceptible to blowouts, which can cause a driver to lose control of a large truck.
- Lost Loads: All truck cargo must be properly loaded and securely stored. Large trucks that spill their loads create a hazard for trailing vehicles, particularly for those who are immediately behind.
Contact An Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Massachusetts and Rhode Island
If you or your family have been injured in a commercial vehicle accident due to the negligence of a truck driver, do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced attorneys to discuss your options and learn what your case is worth.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.
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