The tri-state area is at a higher risk for truck accidents according to the AAA. That is because while most areas of the country receive goods from a combination of rail and trucks, 95 percent of freight is delivered by truck to the tri-state area. The statistics are startling. A comparison of two states similar in size – New York and North Carolina – shows that in 2014 North Carolina had fewer than 10,000 large truck crashes, but New York had 12,000. Most trucking companies and their drivers are responsible and follow safety regulations carefully. However, there are a number of reasons why a truck may run into trouble and cause a crash.
Driver error is a factor in 87 percent of all truck accidents that end with an injury or fatality. Examples of driver error include falling asleep at the wheel, distraction, and poor directional control. Poor decision making such as failure to properly judge a lane change or other traffic situation can also provoke a crash. Sometimes a truck driver is simply driving too fast. A heavier load requires a longer stopping distance, and in an emergency situation a truck traveling too fast will not be able to avoid crashing.
In 30 percent of truck accidents, brake failure is a factor. Brake failure can be the fault of the manufacturer, who must meet federal safety standards, or the result of improper maintenance. Commercial trucking companies are required by federal regulations to keep records of maintenance, and drivers are responsible for a daily pre-check of the condition of their equipment.
Improper Loading/Securing of Loads
Cargo that is not properly secured can slide off and cause vehicles traveling behind a truck to crash. This can happen when a driver is in a hurry and does not take the time to secure his freight safely. Sometimes trucks are overloaded in an attempt to increase profit margins resulting in a load that cannot be secured correctly. Tractor trailers are meant to carry heavy loads, but overloading can lead to an unbalanced load. This means that if the load were to shift at all, the center of gravity is upset and the whole truck can tip over.
The Department of Transportation determines which routes are safe for truck travel. Many tractor trailers are too high for underpasses and bridges and too heavy for some highways and smaller bridges. Trucks are required to stop for mandatory weight inspections, however, due to budget cuts many of the tri-state area’s weigh stations have been closed. Weigh stations also check on other safety issues like how many hours a trucker has been driving.
New Technology for Trucks
There is new technology available to trucks that could help decrease trucking accident numbers. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) can help prevent rollovers, and by August of this year the law will require the feature to be installed in all heavy trucks. Other companies are developing radar for trucks to prevent rear end collisions.
Delaware Truck Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Victims of Truck Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, call the Delaware truck accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC at 302-888-1221 or contact us online. We have an impressive record of success seeking the highest possible compensation for injured victims. Our offices are located in Wilmington, Delaware, New Jersey, and in Pennsylvania including Philadelphia, and we serve clients throughout the tri-state area.