Large trucks, such as 18-wheelers, delivery vans, big-rigs, box trucks, dumpsters and similar vehicles produce a tremendous amount of force. Even the slightest impact with a normal car on a Michigan roadway can create a horrible crash. Big truck attorneys like the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, experienced in handling truck accidents in Flint know how to investigate these cases.
There are state and federal rules that outline how a truck driver and trucking company must act. Failing to abide by these rules can result in serious injury. Outlined below are some of the more typical causes of large truck crashes in Michigan.
Driver Negligence – Not Paying Attention
One of the main causes for large truck rollover accidents is the failure by the driver to pay proper attention to the road and traffic conditions. Traffic and driving conditions can change suddenly. Traffic can back up and the weather can change. Failing to account for these changes can cause the driver to swerve, creating the potential for a truck rollover accident.
Distracted driving has been on the increase in Flint and throughout Michigan. This is true for truck drivers as well. Driving distractions come in different ways, including:
- Playing on a cell phone while driving, such as texting, looking at social media or being on the Internet.
- Talking on the phone.
- Drinking while driving or using drugs while driving.
- Looking at paperwork while driving
- Eating, drinking or using the radio while driving.
Driver Fatigue and Truck Accidents in Flint, Michigan
Many truck drivers travel over long distances. They have pressure to get their product to the destination on time. This can create situations where a driver is tired or fatigued, including drowsy driving. Some drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel, causing tragic crashes. These crashes can include rollover accidents on a freeway or expressway.
Under federal law, there are hours-of-service regulations that limit the amount of driving hours truck drivers can complete over a set time period. The drive time must be tracked in logbooks and kept by the truck driver and trucking company. The logbook will indicate if the driver violated the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations or failed to adhere to the guidelines of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
The “hours of service” rules include:
- The amount of driving a trucker can do over a set amount of time
- The number of breaks a trucker is required to take
- An hour driving limit allowed during a consecutive 7-8 day period
- Sleeper berth requirements
Driving fatigue is a major problem in the trucking industry and a major cause of big truck rollover accidents. With the current shortage of drivers, and the massive demand for product to get to its destination on time, trucking companies and independent carriers are under constant stress. This can lead to negligence and horrific injuries for the trucker and other drivers on the road.
Poor Highway Conditions
Bad weather, whether from rain or snow, can create treacherous driving conditions. Failing to take bad road conditions into account is a major reason for many car accidents. But semi-trucks and big-rigs create even more danger due to their large loads.
Because of their size, big trucks create more velocity and force. As a result, it takes longer for a big truck to slow down or maintain control. This can lead to a rollover accident when the driver has to evasive action and there is not enough time to react.
Besides snowy and slick conditions on an expressway, difficult road conditions in Michigan can also include shar curves, winding roads, a steep road, road debris or a roadway that is full of potholes and not properly maintained. Traveling too fast for these conditions is a violation of the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code. It is also a violation of FMCSA regulations.
When a truck driving in Michigan causes a crash, failing to drive properly given the road conditions is evidence of negligence. Our Michigan big truck accident lawyers can help the injured person and their family receive the money compensation and justice they deserve.
Failing to Properly Load the Truck
A factor to consider in all truck rollover accident is how the product the trucker was carrying was loaded. Most product is not loaded by the driver. Instead, the distribution company, manufacturer or other company that hired the driver or trucking company is in charge of loading the truck.
Big trucks have a high center of gravity. Failing to secure a load properly to the truck can create movement of product and lead to a rollover. Sometimes the goods that are carried must be crated or bolted down to the bed of the truck. Again, failing to do this can cause the goods to move and flip the truck during a turn.
Most trucks are partially loaded. This can create a very dangerous condition because with empty capacity, the load can move around the truck more easily. This can include liquid products. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), over 94 percent of rollovers involve trucks with partial loads.
Driving speed is also important. If a truck driver is rounding a corner and driving too fast, then create enough inertia for the truck to flip. Our Flint truck accident law firm has handled truck rollover accidents where the driver was driving too fast on a turn, causing the liquids and gasoline to spill. This led to a large explosion. Driver error along with not properly loading the truck can cause serious injuries.
Lack of Proper Truck Maintenance, and Truck Accidents in Flint
Maintenance failure is a leading cause of trucking accidents in Detroit and throughout Michigan. 18-wheel trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. A simple mechanical failure that could have been easily prevented with basic inspection can lead to tragic consequences.
Before any trip, truck drivers are required by federal regulations to go through safety inspection of their truck. This safety inspection is not to be taking lightly. It’s an important part of every trucker’s job.
This safety inspection includes checking the following:
- Tires, wheels and rims
- Lights and reflectors
- The horn
If a driver fails to carry out a pre-trip inspection, there can be an increased risk of a truck rollover or other accident. For example, if the brakes are in poor condition, a driver may need to swerve dangerously to avoid a collision, and this over-steering and any over-correcting can affect the balance of the truck contribute to causing a rollover.
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm Can Help
For over 40 years, The Lee Steinberg Law Firm has helped injured victims of Truck Accidents in Flint and all over Michigan to win their cases to collect the compensation they need and deserve. We care about the health and well-being of our clients. Recovering from an injury can take time and can result in many financial burdens. Let us help you get the monetary compensation that you need to recover in peace.
Please call Lee Free and the Michigan truck accident lawyers at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form so we can answer any questions you may have about truck accidents. You pay nothing until we settle your Michigan personal injury case.