The National Traffic Safety Administration estimates that every year, more than 400,000 large trucks (including 18-wheelers and tractor trailers) are involved in trucking accidents, including semi-trucks, tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles. This wrecks result in over 5,000 deaths and more than 100,000 injuries.
Investigating Oklahoma and Arkansas semi-truck accidents requires knowledge of the regulations governing the operation of trucking companies and truck drivers. It also requires inspections of the trucks, trailers and other vehicles involved in the accident. It is important that an investigation begin as soon as possible after an accident in order to document skid and gouge marks, operational records and vehicles condition.
Large commercial vehicles and 18-wheelers can pose significant hazards to most other vehicles on the road, often resulting in a semi-truck accident. For example, when a semi-truck jackknifes on a highway, it can become an impenetrable wall resulting in a serious multiple vehicle collision. A trucker’s load may spill following a collision, creating an additional hazard for other drivers and potentially releasing dangerous chemicals. Because of their weight and size, commercial trucks can also be slow to come to a full stop.
In addition, many kinds of truck driver negligence can contribute to serious accidents. Some of these include:
- Driver fatigue
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Excessive speed
- Unsafe driving
Unsafe driving factors by truck drivers which frequently contribute to accidents include:
- Driving outside of the designated truck lanes
- Failure to drive according to weather conditions
- Aggressive driving
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Failure to yield right of way
Although the commercial trucking industry is heavily regulated, many regulations are ignored by irresponsible truck drivers who try to shorten their time on the road. Ignoring regulations can be harmful to other drivers. However, when a commercial truck driver is the employee of a trucking company, the company may be liable for injuries caused by the driver’s negligence either in its capacity as an employer or as the owner of the truck.
Have you been injured in a semi-truck accident or tractor-trailer accident? To receive a complimentary consultation with a semi-truck accident lawyer, contact Carr & Carr truck accident attorneys or call 1-877-392-4878. We have offices located in Oklahoma City, Tulsa or Northwest Arkansas.