Flatbed trucks are one of the most popular choices to transport goods and equipment, whether across the country or across town. While other types of commercial trucks have enclosed trailers, flatbed trucks are wide open and transport companies typically use straps to hold the cargo down. Although truck drivers are required to check the straps and truck’s cargo at each stop, there is still an alarming number of truck accidents caused by falling cargo. There are also other dangers that flatbed trucks pose to other commuters on the road. Some of the more common causes of flatbed truck accidents are described below. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn to speak with one of our seasoned Virginia truck accident lawyers.
A speeding flatbed truck can be as deadly as a bullet to other commuters. Even a slight increase in speed raised the risk of a truck accident by almost 5 percent. Large commercial trucks take longer to slow down or come to stop. If a truck driver is speeding and suddenly needs to stop, they may not have enough time and the results can be tragic. Unfortunately, there are truck drivers that ignore speed limits, especially if they are under pressure to meet a delivery schedule or are near their maximum number of hours they are legally able to operate.
Shifting or Falling Cargo
If the cargo on a flatbed truck has not been properly loaded or secured, there is a high risk of the straps that are supposed to secure the cargo becoming loose, allowing the cargo to shift or fall off the truck. Shifting cargo can cause the truck driver to lose control of the truck. Falling cargo can land on nearby vehicles or land on the road, obstructing the way of other vehicles. This can cause other drivers to swerve and crash as they try to avoid hitting the fallen cargo.
Jackknife accidents are a common type of accident with flatbed trucks. This is when the trailer of the truck swings around the cab of the truck, causing the truck driver to lose control. Common causes of jackknife accidents are speeding or the truck driver making sudden or abrupt maneuvers with the truck.
Distracted, Drunk, and Fatigued Drivers
Truck driver behavior is still the number one cause of truck accidents. Truck driver fatigue is a major issue in truck accidents, usually due to the long hours drivers spend on the road and interrupted sleep schedules. These long hours away from home, alone on the road, can also lead to alcohol issues, including operating their truck while they are drunk. And just like other types of vehicle drivers, truck drivers are also guilty of engaging in distracted driving activities while behind the wheel, whether it’s checking GPS, text messages, talking on the phone, or eating and drinking.
Contact a Virginia Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in any type of truck accident, contact a Virginia truck accident attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have. Truck accident cases can be complex, and it is not uncommon for there to be multiple at-fault parties who are responsible for the payment of financial damages you may be entitled to for your injuries. The legal team at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn has successfully represented many injured victims and their families and we are happy to meet with you and offer legal guidance on what the best options may be for your circumstances.
- Shortage of OTR Truck Drivers Looming Across US
- Determining Truck Driver Fatigue in Accidents
- Most Common Types of Virginia Truck Accidents