Common Causes Of Trucking Collisions
Large trucks like 18-wheelers or semis are commonly involved in serious and deadly collisions with smaller passenger vehicles like automobiles, SUVs, and light trucks. As the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) explains, most severe and deadly large truck crashes affect occupants of passenger vehicles given the weight and size of large trucks. The IIHS elaborates that 18-wheelers usually weigh anywhere from 20 to 30 times as much as a passenger vehicle, and these large trucks often have a greater ground clearance than passenger vehicles, which can lead to underride wrecks. Underride accidents occur when a smaller vehicle slides underneath a truck. When trucking collisions do occur in or around Shreveport, what are the most common causes and who is liable? Our Shreveport trucking injury lawyers can provide you with more information.
Truck Driver Negligence
Truck driver negligence is one of the most common causes of serious and deadly truck crashes in Louisiana. You should know that truck driver negligence can take many different forms, including but not limited to:
- Aggressive driving, which many involve following too closely behind another vehicle, speeding, or passing on the right side;
- Distracted driving, often including talking or texting on a phone in addition to other distracting behaviors like eating or drinking behind the wheel;
- Drowsy or fatigued driving, which is a common cause of serious crashes among truckers who do not adhere to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hours of service requirements; and/or
- Drunk or drugged driving.
A truck driver can be liable for a crash caused by their own negligence, but other parties also may be at fault and may share liability. For example, if a truck driver is employed by a truck company, the truck company or the employer may be responsible for the employee’s (i.e., the truck driver’s) negligence under the doctrine of respondeat superior.
The FMCSA’s large truck causation study reports that tire blowouts are a common cause of trucking wrecks. Depending upon the cause of the tire blowout, one or more parties could be liable. For example, the designer or manufacturer of a defective tire could be liable, or a truck owner could be liable if negligent maintenance resulted in worn tires remaining on the truck for too long.
Overloading or Improper Loading of the Trailer
When a large truck’s trailer is overloaded or is improperly loaded such that the weight is not evenly distributed, a serious crash can happen. The company responsible for loading the trailer is usually liable for any injuries that result from a wreck.
Inclement weather in Louisiana, such as heavy rains, can make driving dangerous and can contribute to trucking collisions. While a truck driver or another party may not be responsible for inclement weather, all motorists do have a duty to drive safely based on the conditions. Accordingly, if a trucker or another motorist fails to slow down to a safe speed given the hazardous conditions, that driver could be responsible for injuries in a crash.
Contact a Shreveport Trucking Collision Lawyer
If you were injured in a truck crash, or if you lost someone in a trucking wreck, one of our experienced Shreveport truck collision attorneys can speak with you about seeking compensation. Contact Rice & Kendig to learn more about the services we provide.