Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Columbia, S.C.
Truck accidents happen for numerous reasons. But no matter the cause, you should know that you may be entitled to compensation if you were hurt in a truck accident in South Carolina.
Commercial truck accident claims are particularly complex. The path to compensation will involve filing an injury claim with the insurance company(s) of whoever is responsible for the crash. Your success will depend largely upon providing strong evidence and a solid argument for why you deserve to be fully compensated. Don’t take on this complicated process alone.
Speak with a proven Columbia truck accident lawyer who can protect your legal rights.
Call or contact Stewart Law Offices today for a free consultation.
What Types of Trucks Are Often Involved in Truck Accidents?
There are many types of commercial trucks. Though they vary in size, they are always bigger than standard passenger vehicles. This puts occupants of the smaller vehicle at most risk of injury if a crash happens.
Types of trucks that are commonly involved in accidents include:
- Box trucks
- Platform trucks
- Flatbed trucks
- Cement mixers
- Mobile cranes
- Dump trucks
- Garbage trucks
- Log carriers
- Bucket trucks
- Tow trucks
- Moving trucks
- Refrigerator trucks
- Tanker trucks
- Heavy haulers
Top Causes of Truck Accidents in Columbia, S.C.
In a recent study, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) examined truck crash data throughout the United States to determine the top causes of large truck accidents. The study found that driver errors were the “critical reason” for 87 percent of all large truck accidents.
Common causes of commercial truck collisions include:
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
- Drunk driving
- Aggressive driving
- Failure to signal turns
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Lane weaving
- Tire blowouts
- Blind spot accidents
- Left-turn accidents
- Defective brakes
- Lack of training
- Pressure from supervisors
- Improperly secured cargo
- Poor maintenance
Many times, more than one factor plays a role in a truck crash. An experienced truck accident lawyer can investigate your case to determine all causes and ensure that the correct parties are held liable.
Truck Accident Statistics and Facts
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released the most current facts and statistics about large truck accidents in the United States:
- 75 percent of large trucks involved in fatal crashes in a single year were classified as “heavy large trucks” weighing more than 26,000 pounds.
- Roughly 531,000 large trucks were involved in crashes throughout the U.S., resulting in an estimated 151,000 people being injured.
- Nearly 5,000 people were killed in large truck accidents.
- 71 percent of the people killed in truck accidents were occupants of non-truck vehicles.
- More than three-quarters of all fatal truck accidents occur on weekdays during daylight hours.
- 3 percent of large truck drivers in fatal crashes alcohol levels above the national legal limit of 0.08. That’s double the 0.04 limit allowed for commercial drivers.
South Carolina statistics show that:
- Truck accidents accounted for 8,700 crashes in one single year. In those collisions, 109 people died and 1,720 suffered serious injuries.
- The total number of tractor-trailer accidents in South Carolina increased steadily over a five-year period.
- Most truck wrecks occur between noon and 6 p.m.
- Men make up nearly 90 percent of all people involved in S.C. truck accidents.
Who Is Liable After a Commercial Truck Accident in Columbia?
To present a persuasive personal injury claim after a truck accident in Columbia, S.C., you’ll need to determine who is liable for the collision and provide strong evidence to support your case.
Liability, which is the legal term for fault, may lie with one or several parties in a commercial truck accident, including:
Truck drivers: Commercial drivers must observe strict safety precautions determined by FMCSA, such as taking rest breaks. Those who neglect to follow these requirements may be held accountable for the accidents they cause.
- Trucking companies or truck owners: Companies that own commercial trucks are also required to observe FMCSA rules by ensuring their drivers are well-trained and have safe, reliable trucks to operate.
- Truck component manufacturers: The makers of defective brakes, steering systems, tires, and other truck equipment may be held responsible if their products fail and cause truck accident injuries.
- Truck maintenance companies: Commercial trucks endure a lot of wear and tear, so they need regular maintenance. Mechanics who fail to properly inspect or repair faulty components can be held liable if their negligence contributes to a truck accident.
- Cargo loading companies: Some trucking companies hire third parties to load cargo onto trucks and trailers. If loading crews overload trucks or stack cargo in an unsafe manner, a trucker is at a greater risk of losing control of the vehicle.
After an accident, insurance companies will fight hard to reduce their policyholder’s portion of fault in an attempt to reduce the amount of compensation they must pay — especially by trying to push the blame onto you, the victim. Don’t let them get away with it. Get a truck accident lawyer on your side to fight back against unfair claims of fault.
Tips for Driving Safely Around Trucks
To help all of our Columbia neighbors stay safe, the legal team at Stewart Law Offices has compiled the following list of safety tips if you’re driving near a commercial truck:
- Stay out of large truck blind spots.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Stay focused on the road.
- Avoid drowsy driving.
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Give truck drivers plenty of time to stop.
- Expect wide turns and be patient.
- Increase following distance and pass safely.
Injured in a Columbia Truck Accident? Contact Stewart Law Offices Today
Truck accidents result in some of the most catastrophic injuries and losses. For decades, the trusted legal team at Stewart Law Offices has fought for the rights of injured people in Columbia and throughout South Carolina. Let our truck accident attorneys join your fight for justice.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation. There’s no obligation.