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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tire blowouts and flat tires cause nearly 78,000 accidents each year. An average commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which means that truck accidents are likely to involve catastrophic injuries or even fatalities. For this reason, truck drivers and their companies should always maintain their vehicles in order to prevent serious collisions.
Commercial trucks have tire problems more often than people might think. While the truck companies are legally obligated to make sure their trucks are operating as safely as possible, safety checks do not always happen like they should. With the power and weight behind a large truck and the sudden veering when a tire blows, any car in its path is a potential target. Trucks have a fragile weight balance, a high center of gravity, narrow distance between the left and right wheels, and heavy loads. Small changes in the components of the truck can lead to serious truck accidents.
Many different factors can lead to a tire blowout truck accident. In some cases, tire blowouts are caused by external factors, such as potholes or obstacles in the road. If a driver was involved in an accident that was caused by an external factor, it can reduce their liability, depending on how they reacted after the blowout. Here are the most common reasons why tire blowouts occur:
These reasons do not always mean immediate tire blowouts will occur. Many times, it is repeated wear over time that eventually leads to a tire blowout. Michelin, a tire manufacturer, recommends replacing tires after a maximum of 10 years, and proper maintenance is important too.
Tire blowouts are usually the result of negligent maintenance or defects in the tires. Anyone that operates a vehicle has a responsibility to maintain their tires as well as the rest of their vehicle. One way to do this is to make sure the vehicle is always current on inspections and properly maintained. It is also important to know how the vehicle functions and the auto safety features. While driving, a truck driver should do what they can to prevent overactive steering or panic driving and always pay attention to their surroundings.
Liability will depend on the cause of the tire blowout truck accident. Many parties can be responsible, such as the truck driver, trucking company, maintenance company, or the tire manufacturer. Drivers are expected to inspect their tires daily since they are the ones operating the trucks. They should replace them as needed; failing to do so puts other motorists in danger.
Trucking companies also have a responsibility. They must maintain their fleet and meet safety standards regularly, keeping documentation of all work done. Infrequent inspection or failing to fix any known issues can create liability for any potential tire blowout accident. Maintenance companies that are contracted out to do this work can also be held liable if they fail to uphold their duties.
Sometimes, there are defects in a tire that no amount of maintenance can catch. Fundamental design flaws or manufacturing defects may mean that the tire designer or manufacturer can be held liable. If a defect is not noticed or the installation is not done properly, even the mechanic can be held responsible.
Determining who is responsible is important in any potential case. Having an experienced truck accident lawyer can help a victim navigate their case so that they can recover necessary damages.
When a tire blowout causes a truck accident, it can create a traumatic situation for all drivers on the road. Whether the tire blowout was caused by the negligence of the driver or company, a Wilmington truck accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow will help you with your case. Our legal team understands how truck accidents can be devastating, and we will help you receive your entitled compensation for your recovery. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation and more information about your case. We have offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, and we proudly serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.
Driving aggressively puts people in danger. When the aggressive driver is behind the wheel of a commercial truck, the danger becomes unimaginable. Unfortunately, truck accidents involving these enormous vehicles happen every day. Too often, these collisions are caused by aggressive driving.
Sometimes, aggressive driving is perpetrated by people with anger issues. Other times, drivers are responding to time constraints and pressure brought on by traffic delays that have threatened to affect the time that they will reach their destinations. Unrealistic expectations by their employers could contribute to their behaviors as well.
Aggressive drivers generally display more care about getting where they are going than they do about getting there safely. The behaviors they exhibit undermine the safety of everyone else on the road. Such aggressive driving behaviors include the following:
An aggressive driver may conveniently disregard traffic rules, acting as if they do not apply to them. Other drivers depend on adherence to traffic laws to anticipate the behaviors of others on the road. If the driver of a huge truck disregards traffic norms, it puts people in danger.
The number one offense against road safety is driving too fast. Speeding can deprive a driver’s ability to control a vehicle. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the harder it is to stop in an emergency. This is doubly true for a huge, heavy truck. Driving over the speed limit is an obvious infraction, but even driving within the legal range can be dangerous if driving conditions are less than ideal. A driver should take into account the driving environment, including visual impairments from fog or elements that affect the surface of the road, like recent rainstorms.
When a truck or other vehicle drives too closely to the vehicle in front of them, they are tailgating. The maneuver is often used to show impatience with the speed of the driver who is blocking the irritated driver’s way.
A trucker in a rush may endanger other vehicles on the road by passing unexpectedly on the wrong side or weaving through cars to move faster. One extremely unsafe practice is passing on the shoulder of the road.
An aggressive driver may disregard certain right-of-way rules to advance themselves by forcing their way into highway traffic at on-ramps or through intersections without waiting their turn or giving deference to other drivers.
A humungous truck can be intimidating for other drivers. If a truck driver uses this context to their advantage, they might cut off another vehicle, force a car out of their lane, or keep another driver from merging onto the roadway.
While there is some overlap, generally, road rage is a step beyond typical aggressive driving. Aggressive driving behaviors are usually used in an effort to help the driver make good time or to move quickly through surrounding traffic. The focus is usually selfish and intimidating, but it does not necessarily involve a violent intent toward a specific person.
Road rage may begin as aggressive driving, but the situation may escalate when things become personal. A road rage incident may involve the types of reckless driving listed above, but it also tends to be focused on threatening a specific individual that has performed some sort of infraction that has angered the other driver.
Road rage often entails yelling or obscene gestures directed at another driver. An unhinged driver may honk their horn or flash their lights to show anger about an exchange with another driver. Sometimes, the incident intensifies into a physical confrontation.
A driver’s best defense against an aggressive truck driver is to keep distance. Obey the rules of the road for everyone’s safety.
One way to avoid problems with an aggressive trucker is to stay out of their way. Drive in the right lane, using the left lane for passing only. Use a safe following distance and be courteous to other drivers.
If one is being followed too closely or is a target of an aggressive driver, one should try to ignore the aggressive driver’s actions. It is better to be safe than to attempt to win a dispute with another driver.
Keep a safe distance from trucks when possible. Even if a driver is unaware of any aggressive driving tendencies, a truck driver may change lanes impulsively without noticing that a driver is there. This often happens when cars drive along the right sides of trucks where blind spots are factors.
If a driver witnesses an aggressive truck driver on the road, they should attempt to notify local police. A commercial truck typically displays a phone number so that a driver can alert the trucking company about unsafe driving behaviors.
A trucker can be held liable for irresponsible driving if it led to the accident, but the trucking company can also be held liable for a trucker’s aggressive driving. In order to hold the company liable for an aggressive driving accident, it must be proven that the company was negligent in some way. Perhaps they hired the driver without properly checking the trucker’s driving history for prior aggressive driving issues.
Obtaining a lawyer after a truck accident is crucial. Truck accident cases can be complex, and a lawyer will determine who is responsible. A lawyer will also help the victim obtain fair compensation.
If an aggressive truck driver caused the accident that led to your injuries, you may be able to collect compensation for the accident. Our New Castle truck accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow help accident victims collect damages to cover medical treatments for injuries, as well as compensation for pain and suffering. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.
Trucks cross Delaware roadways every hour of every day to get their freight where it needs to go. Even seasoned truckers with years under their belts may not always use the correct streets or thoroughfares to get from one point to another. Similarly, they may rely on an outdated GPS and end up driving their trucks in areas that cannot accommodate their full truck height.
To cut down on the incidents of truckers knowingly or unwittingly traversing roads not meant for vehicles their height, Delaware legislators have passed new regulations. The legislation ensures violators will be penalized financially.
Most motorists have seen warnings aimed at truckers, especially before underpasses and bridges. Usually, these warnings note the maximum truck height allowed on the road. They may also offer alternative routes for truckers to avoid problems such as bridge strikes. A bridge strike occurs when an excessively tall truck trailer hits the bottom of a bridge, potentially causing property damage or a truck-related accident or fatality.
Emerging technologies now allow municipalities to determine when a truck of an inappropriate height has passed along a roadway. Mounted sensors send information including truck license plate numbers to the municipality, ensuring law enforcement can issue fines to truckers who neglect to drive responsibly.
Other states have adopted similar truck vehicle height monitoring legislation, but only Delaware appears to allow any municipality to take advantage of the monitoring system. In other words, any city, township, or other applicable entity can use vehicle height monitoring to help reduce problems on their roadways. Other states typically focus their vehicle height monitoring legislation on or around large cities.
It should be noted that the legislation is not limited to commercial trucks. Individuals driving rental trucks, such as self-service moving vans, could also be fined for violation of height and road restrictions.
The goal of all vehicle height monitoring laws is to reduce any collisions with truck trailers or beds and bridges or underpasses. Additionally, vehicle height monitoring can be used to encourage trucks to use alternate routes. Currently, some municipalities have reported repeated problems with truckers ignoring warning signs and driving through residential neighborhoods.
How does the legislation impact offenders? It hits them in the wallet as opposed to taking away their ability to work or continue a chosen career.
Truckers caught violating posted vehicle height limits will receive a warning the first time they are caught. For second and subsequent violations, they will be fined $250 and $500, respectively. They will not, however, receive any points on their driver’s license as a result of violating vehicle height restrictions.
Everyone who drives or is a passenger deserves to arrive alive and unharmed to their destination. Still, sometimes accidents with trucks happen. If you have been hurt or a loved one was killed in a truck accident, call the Milford truck accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. To schedule a free, initial consultation, call us at 302-422-6705, or contact us online. Located in Bear, Wilmington, and Milford, Delaware, we represent clients throughout the state including Seaford and Elsmere.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety calls summer one of the most dangerous times of the year on the nation’s roads because of the rise in traffic accidents. That rise in accidents includes those involving tractor trailers and other large trucks. Motor vehicle accidents involving commercial trucks are more likely to result in devastating injuries to all involved. With some of the largest tractor trailers weighing upwards of 30,000 pounds, the sheer impact of a collision with a vehicle this size can be catastrophic.
The following are common causes of summer truck accidents:
Any individual on the receiving end of a truck accident may end up with serious, life-threatening injuries. At Rhoades & Morrow, our Delaware truck accident lawyers help you move forward to physical, emotional, and financial recovery. We will fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation today. With locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including those from Elsmere and Seaford.
Motorists face road hazards from large trucks, and one of the major contributing factors to truck accidents is unsecured cargo. In recent years, the rate of motor vehicle accidents on Delaware roads that are caused by the loss or shifting of cargo has increased by 250 percent. This frightening statistic is one of the main reasons why the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, Delaware Department of Transportation, Delaware State Police, and AAA Mid-Atlantic recently teamed up to promote Secure Your Load Day. Originally a grass-roots movement, Secure Your Load is a yearly event that raises awareness for highway safety and focuses on trucks having secure loads while on the road. It is a national awareness campaign to reduce road debris and save lives.
If not secured properly, truck cargo can shift, become unattached from the truck, and fly off into the road. This can be highly dangerous and fatal for other drivers. Delaware State Police Sergeant Richard Bratz said that “Unsecured loads and road debris crashes are preventable with just a few minutes of time. All items need to be securely fastened to the vehicle.” Bratz is also the State Police Public Information Director.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is a federal government agency that regulates the operation of commercial motor vehicles, with the goal of reducing wrecks involving larger trucks and buses. The agency has rules that apply to cargo securement devices, acceleration and deceleration, tie downs, anchor points, and working load limits. There are additional restrictions for distinct types of cargo, such as logs, metal coils, pipe, and other items.
According to AAA, hazardous road debris led to over 200,000 accidents in four years. These include when another vehicle runs over road debris and crashes, contact with hazardous cargo, and being hit by items as they fall off a truck.
These incidences might be attributed to careless driving or negligence by the truck driver or the company they work for. Oftentimes, the drivers are tired or pressured to make delivery deadlines and do not take the time for proper safety measures or inspections. Others could be driving under the influence or traveling at unsafe speeds. Cargo securement devices must also be tested and inspected and replaced if not functioning correctly. Unsecured loads are illegal, with fines capping off at $5,000. However, there are only 16 states that include jail time as a possible sentence.
Secure Your Load Day is an excellent resource for educating truck drivers and trucking companies. Drivers who share the road can protect themselves by staying away from trucks that are carrying cargo. It is also smart to watch for unsafe driving behaviors such as swerving, speeding, or switching lanes quickly or without warning. These trucks should also be avoided and reported to highway police immediately.
If you are the victim of an accident that involves a truck with unsecured cargo, our experienced Wilmington truck accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help with your case. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation. With office locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients from the surrounding areas.