Shreveport Truck Accident Causes
Trucking is a major industry in Shreveport-Bossier City, and 18-wheelers travel I-20, I-49, and local roads at all hours, picking up and delivering goods locally and transporting them across the country. Commanding an 18-wheeler is a demanding and dangerous job, though. Truckers face all the hazards that cause passenger vehicle auto accidents, as well as special circumstances that apply especially to tractor-trailers. See below for some of the common causes of semi-truck accidents, and call Rice & Kendig injury lawyers if you’ve been hurt in a crash with a big rig in Shreveport-Bossier City or North Louisiana.
Poor Truck Maintenance
A fully loaded rig needs 20-40 percent more space than the average car does to come to a stop under ideal conditions, and even more if the road is wet or slippery or if the truck’s brakes were not properly maintained. Despite the critical need for a well-maintained vehicle, annual roadside inspections of commercial trucks result in thousands of tractor-trailers being immediately pulled from service due to bad or missing brake components or truck tires in a dangerously unsafe condition. Other truck safety issues include malfunctioning or non-working signals and lights, broken mirrors, missing fire extinguishers, and defective coupling devices. Truck drivers are required to inspect their rigs at the end of every day and report any issues to the carrier. Unfortunately, many truckers don’t want to get their rig taken out of service and might not complete these reports fully or accurately. When trucking companies fail to maintain their fleet in good working order, they are sending ticking time bombs out on the highway, putting thousands of innocent drivers at risk.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Elsewhere on this website, we discuss the maximum hours of service truck drivers can be on duty under rules established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These regulations are heavily influenced by the trucking industry lobby and allow drivers to be legally on duty for 14 hours a day, including 11 hours of driving time. Truckers can also work for seven or eight days straight before being required to take only 34 hours off to restart their “week.” Based on safety research, a rule was introduced to require the 34-hour restart to include two overnight periods, but that change was squashed before it ever got implemented.
Even with these generous hours of service, trucking companies still push their drivers to stay behind the wheel even longer to maximize their profits. This practice leads to inattention, impaired judgment, drowsiness and falling asleep at the wheel. Truck driver fatigue is extremely dangerous and a leading cause of 18-wheeler truck accidents.
Unbalanced or Overloaded Trailers
Semi-trucks haul many tons of cargo in their trailers, and these loads must be carefully stowed and secured for safe driving. If a load shifts during transport or is overloaded from the start, the driver is liable to lose control on the highway, resulting in a rollover, jackknife or other dangerous crash.
Negligent Driving Behaviors
Truck drivers receive special training to obtain a commercial driver’s license and handle the big rigs on the highway. Most drivers are skilled and conscientious drivers, but too many aren’t. Truckers who speed, pass dangerously or drive too aggressively risk causing a wreck. Truck drivers are also not immune from the lure of their cell phones or using other distractions to pull them away from the monotony of long-haul trucking, and truckers are at least as susceptible to causing drunk driving or distracted driving crashes as are other drivers on the road.
Truck Accident Victims Need the Help of Skilled and Experienced Injury Lawyers
With over 40 years of experience handling the most complex crashes and catastrophic injuries in Shreveport-Bossier City car and truck accidents, the personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Rice & Kendig understand how to investigate a complicated 18-wheeler truck accident and determine the cause or causes that contributed to the crash. We assemble the facts and put together a solid case, so we are ready to negotiate a complete settlement with the trucking company’s insurance carrier or take them to court when they don’t agree to settle for a fair amount. Truck accident victims need and deserve significant financial compensation to deal with the harm done to them. Our firm’s attorneys work tirelessly to achieve a just result.
Call Rice & Kendig Injury Lawyers After a Shreveport-Bossier City Truck Accident
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an 18-wheeler truck accident in Shreveport-Bossier City or North Louisiana, call Rice & Kendig injury lawyers for a free consultation and immediate assistance getting the compensation you need and deserve.