The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports more than 5,500 fatal and non-fatal accidents involving large trucks and bosses. It should not come as a surprise, considering that Indiana ranks among the 10 states with the highest number of accidents. As a truck accident lawyer will tell you, more and more victims are reaching out for help. While their cases are different, the circumstances that have led to their accidents are often the same.
Those circumstances are very important for the case outcome. They could indicate negligence on behalf of the truck driver, the trucking company, or the cargo owner. They could help guide the investigations and the work of the truck accident attorney handling the case.
Of course, identifying them is not that easy. It takes knowledge, experience, and solid investigation skills. The best way to understand that is reviewing the most common accident causes and their implications for the victims and their truck accident attorneys.
Common Indiana Truck Accident Causes
- Drugs and Alcohol Impairment – In 2017, 15% of the drivers involved in fatal crashes tested positive, and only 50% of them were tested. From the 4,600 truck drivers involved in fatal accidents, only 41% were tested, and for 5% of them the test results were positive. Thus, drugs and alcohol consumption continue to be a major factor in Indiana traffic accidents. For an experienced truck accident lawyer, they represent a chance to prove gross or extreme negligence and maybe, even claim punitive damages.
- Speeding and driving too fast for traffic conditions – For many drivers, speed limits are made to be broken. For others, staying within limits is a goal, even though the traffic conditions require driving at much lower speed. In truck accidents, a couple of miles per hour can make the difference between life and death. An experienced Indiana truck wreck lawyer will always try to determine speed by looking for brake marks, checking the speedometers of the vehicles involved, looking for recordings in the accident area, checking the background of the driver at fault for speeding tickets, and interviewing witnesses.
- Poor visibility – Fog is a common issue in Indiana, affecting road visibility. As if that were not enough, trucks have large blind spots. Drivers cannot avoid what they do not see, and, especially when driving at high speed, they sometimes notice dangers too late. Of course, just because you were in their blind spot does not mean the driver at fault should get away without paying for your losses. Therefore, make sure you get legal help and take action against them, their employer, or their insurer.
- Distractions – Many drivers use their mobile phones or various other devices to communicate, find their way, or entertain themselves. They take their eyes of the road to change the settings or consult maps, and one second of inattention becomes fatal. Proving distracted driving is extremely difficult and should be left to experienced truck accident lawyers.
- Brake Problems— Trucks cover thousands of miles every month, most of the time loaded with tons of cargo, so they see much more wear and tear than other vehicles. Unfortunately, trucking companies often cut corners when it comes to maintenance and repairs. Every second of delay and every additional foot when braking can make the difference between life and death. Many times, truck accident lawyers will place a hold on the trucks involved in their case and request a technical expertise to detect potential brake issues.
- Driver Fatigue—Truck drivers cover long distances and rarely comply with the hours of service regulations. They have to meet delivery deadlines no matter how tired and sleepy they are. Fatigue impairs them. It diminishes their attention and slows down their reactions. When a driver did not take measures to avoid an accident, it could mean that they dozed-off at the wheel.
- Highway Hypnosis – Drivers who see the same scenery for hundreds of miles may fall victims of highway hypnosis. It is a state of altered consciousness in which they continue to follow the white line without actually paying attention. If they meet a road obstacle, they rarely have the time to avoid it and cause accidents.
- Unfamiliarity with the road – Truck drivers often have to cover unfamiliar routes. While trying to find their way and consulting satellite navigation systems, they often fail to notice road dangers, take wrong turns, or fail to yield right of way.
No Matter the Cause of Your Accident, an Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
Once the worst has happened, you care less about its causes and more about its consequences and especially recovering your losses. An Indiana truck accident lawyer can help you. Call Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers now and schedule a free consultation to find out what we can do for you!