Victims are at a high risk of suffering catastrophic injuries or death in a truck accident in Norfolk due to the sheer size and weight of a semi-truck. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 4,657 fatal truck accidents in 2017—a 10 percent increase from 2016. If a loved one died in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent truck driver, trucking company, and other liable parties in a wrongful death action.
Six Major Causes of Truck Accident Fatalities
There are many negligent actions of truck drivers and trucking companies that can cause fatal truck accidents. Here are some of the most common reasons for these tragic, preventable wrecks:
When a trucker is engaged in distracted driving, his mind and eyes are not on the road, and his hands may not be on the steering wheel. Reading a GPS, talking on a cell phone, texting, eating and drinking, and talking to a co-driver are just some of the distractions that cause senseless collisions.
A trucker is considered driving while intoxicated if he has a blood alcohol level of 0.04 percent or higher. When a truck driver is drunk, his reaction time, judgment, vision, ability to judge distances, and more are impaired—making it much more likely that he will cause a catastrophic collision.
When truck drivers are drowsy, their driving abilities are reduced in similar ways as if they were drunk. The FMCSA hours of service rules only allow truckers to drive a certain number of hours without taking a break to combat the problem of drowsy driving truck accidents. When a trucker causes victim’s deaths, at least one cause is often violation of the hours of service rules.
Lack of Maintenance
The truck driver has pre- and post-trip inspection duties to inspect the truck for defective and broken parts, and the trucking company has its own inspection, maintenance, and repair duties. Unfortunately, they can ignore their duties and allow a truck needing replacement or repair of brakes, tires, or other vital parts on the road. This can lead to a fatal truck accident if the trucker loses control of the truck.
When a trucker is speeding, he may not be able to slow down or stop quickly enough to avoid a crash. In addition, injuries are more severe when a truck is traveling at a faster speed. Not slowing down for weather conditions, such as ice, rain, snow, or fog, can also cause a trucker to slam into nearby passenger vehicles.
When the load is loaded unevenly or not properly secured, the load can shift during transport or fall off the truck into oncoming traffic. This could result in a deadly rollover accident or multi-vehicle collision.
While compensation will not bring back your loved one killed in a fatal truck accident, it will give you justice and help you move forward in your life. The experienced and compassionate truck accident attorneys are here to help you through the process of filing and settling your claim. To learn more about your legal rights and how we can assist you, fill out our online form or call our office to schedule a free case evaluation.