Flatbed trucks are commonly used to haul goods and materials, but they pose unique dangers to other motorists on the road. If you suffered injuries in a flatbed truck collision in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, you should retain an experienced Norfolk truck accident lawyer to pursue your right to compensation if a negligent trucker caused the crash.
Understanding What a Flatbed Truck Is
A flatbed truck is a commercial vehicle with an open bed at the back, lacking the enclosed structure of a traditional truck. This open design allows for the transportation of large or irregularly shaped cargo. However, it also presents unique risks and challenges that can lead to severe crashes on the road.
Top Causes of Flatbed Truck Accidents in Norfolk and Virginia Beach
Negligent truckers, trucking companies, and shippers cause most flatbed truck accidents. Common reasons for these collisions include the following:
- Overloaded truck. Overloading a flatbed truck can have disastrous consequences. When a truck carries more weight than it is designed to handle, the driver has more difficulty controlling the vehicle. They can have problems with braking, maneuverability, and stability, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
- Overhanging cargo. Flatbed trucks often transport oversized or overhanging cargo, such as construction materials, machinery, or lumber. When not properly secured or flagged, a load hanging over the bed's side can shift or fall onto the road. Other motorists can suffer injuries if the cargo hits their car or they collide with other vehicles while trying to avoid the obstacles.
- Blind spots. Like any large commercial vehicle, flatbed trucks have significant blind spots that restrict the driver's visibility. These blind spots can make it difficult for truckers to see other vehicles, especially smaller cars or motorcycles, when changing lanes, making turns, or merging into traffic. Failure to adequately check blind spots is another way truck drivers cause flatbed truck crashes.
- Jackknife accidents. Jackknifing occurs when the trucker loses control, and the truck's cab folds towards the trailer, creating a 90-degree angle. This type of wreck is more common with flatbed trucks due to the inherent lack of stability caused by the open bed design.
- Trucker errors. Truck driver errors are a leading cause of flatbed truck collisions. Driver fatigue, distracted driving, speeding, failure to yield, and impaired driving are a few of the negligent driving practices that result in truck collisions.