Kansas Personal Injury Attorneys Specializing in Truck Accident Cases
Truck accidents can be deadly. A small car or SUV is no match for a big-rig truck. If an accident occurs, then serious injuries are often the result. Compared to passenger cars, which usually weigh less than 10,000 pounds, big rig trucks are intimidating. Some large trucks weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. That weight difference means when a truck crashes head-on into a passenger car, SUV or pickup, it’s much larger weight increases the force of the crash significantly over the force of a crash between two cars.
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Semi-truck accidents were responsible for 12% of the fatal auto accidents in 2005. Seventy-six percent of those fatalities were sustained by the victims of the smaller vehicle.
Because big rig trucks are so heavy, they are more difficult to drive safely. They have a higher center of gravity and are usually carrying a heavy load in the trailer, making them difficult to maneuver through traffic.
The DOT (The Department of Transportation) did a detailed study called, “The Large Truck Crash Causation Study” to analyze truck crashes occurring between 2001 and 2003. The events that led to crashes included:
- Loss of control of the truck due to some event like a tire blowout
- Disabling or non-disabling vehicle failure – engine problem or hood flew up
- Another motor vehicle encroaching on the truck’s lane
- Poor road conditions due to poor road maintenance or weather
- Traveling too fast for road conditions
- Shifting cargo
- Lane drifting – either truck or passenger vehicle
- Driving off the edge of the road
- Improper truck maneuvering during events (turns and passing through intersections)
- Coming upon a stopped vehicle
- Finding objects on the highway
- Driver fatigue
Every state has laws pertaining to large trucks with trailers, most of which stress the factor of driver fatigue. A truck driver is only allowed to drive a certain amount of miles or hours before being required to take a break. Unfortunately, trucking companies have only one thing in mind – deliver or pick-up the cargo they need to make their sale. They disregard trucking laws with their profit in mind. The National Transportation Safety Board says as many as 40% of all truck accidents can be traced to driver fatigue.
Another reason for many truck accidents is the large number of unqualified truck drivers that are on the road. A recent report found that 24 states found thousands of fraudulently licensed truck drivers on their roads. Driving a big rig truck requires a specialized license through specialized training.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a big-rig or semi-truck, you have the right to hold the trucking company and the truck driver accountable for your injuries. An investigation should be done immediately after your accident to determine who was at fault and which laws were violated. We invite you to call the experienced Kansas personal injury attorneys at Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska LLC at 800-266-0036 for your free consultation!