Semi-trucks play a vital role in moving consumer goods across the country. Unfortunately, semi-trucks can be involved in deadly motor vehicle accidents. The size of a semi coupled with the challenges of operating these large trucks can make sharing the road with semi-trucks a hazard.
Drivers should be aware of the factors that can contribute to a truck accident so they will be prepared to take legal action when necessary.
1. Driver Fatigue
The only time a semi-truck driver makes money is when their truck is in motion. The federal government has placed limits on the number of hours a driver can spend behind the wheel without taking a break, but many drivers are still finding themselves driving while fatigued. A fatigued semi-truck driver may have a longer reaction time that prevents them from avoiding obstacles in the road. Tired drivers could drift into oncoming traffic, causing a collision.
An experienced truck accident attorney will be able to help you determine if driver fatigue played a role in your accident.
2. Overloaded Cargo
Semi-trucks are designed to haul large volumes of cargo from one point to another. Some trucking companies may overload their trucks in an effort to improve profitability. An overloaded truck will not handle properly.
Drivers can have a hard time controlling an overloaded truck. The brakes on the truck may not be equipped to accommodate the extra weight, putting any vehicle sharing the road with the overloaded truck at risk.
Your attorney will be able to subpoena shipment records and compare these records with the weight of the cargo recovered from your accident scene to determine if overloading played a role in your accident.
3. Unsecured Cargo
In addition to making sure that a semi-truck's cargo is not too heavy, drivers must take the time to secure their cargo in place. Cargo that shifts during transit can affect the way a semi-truck handles while moving down the road.
Shifting cargo could change the truck's center of gravity. This makes the semi more likely to tip over or sway while in motion.
Accident investigators will examine a semi-truck's cargo to determine how it was secured on a flatbed or in an enclosed trailer. Your attorney can evaluate the investigator's findings to determine if unsecured cargo played a role in causing an accident involving your vehicle and a semi-truck.
For more information, contact a company like Grall Law Group.