Tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks haul heavy loads. The size and handling of large trucks are significantly different than the average passenger vehicle. They require more training, skill, and caution to operate. If a truck driver or trucking company is careless or disregards traffic safety, a severe injury truck accident may occur.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada, turn to the truck accident attorneys at Sam & Ash, LLP. Our attorneys focus on doing What’s Right for you. If you’ve suffered serious injuries in a truck accident, you can expect us to take the time to understand your specific needs and goals. We will develop a legal strategy designed to help you seek full accountability and compensation for your losses.
Contact Sam & Ash, LLP, today for a free case review. Our attorneys will evaluate the details of the truck accident and discuss your legal rights and options. We can help you demand financial compensation after you’ve been injured in a truck crash in Las Vegas.
What Are The Types of Truck Accidents
Some of the most common types of truck accidents that occur in Las Vegas include:
Large commercial trucks have large blind spots on all sides. These include a driver-side area stretching the length of the truck, a passenger-side blind spot that also extends the length of the truck and into two or more lanes of traffic, and blind spots in front and back of the truck that extend as much as 30 or more feet. Truck drivers are required to remain alert to the traffic around them. But when other vehicles drive in a truck’s blind spot, the truck driver may be unaware of the presence of the vehicle and attempt to merge into the lane, causing a collision and serious injuries.
Head-on crashes are the most dangerous type of truck accident. The impact of the collision is greater than other accidents. Head-on collisions can occur when a truck veers over the center line into oncoming traffic or when a truck travels the wrong way down a one-way street.
Jackknife accidents happen when the trailer of an 18-wheeler swings out of line, causing the trailer and the truck cab to fold together. Uneven braking of the cab and the trailer can cause a jackknife accident. Jackknifing usually occurs when a truck driver brakes their vehicle too hard, a truck loses traction on a slick road surface, or a truck turns around a tight bend. When a semi-truck jackknifes, it causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle. A jackknifing cab and trailer can sweep across the road and collide with other vehicles, putting everyone in the path of the out-of-control truck at risk.
Improperly secured cargo
Truck drivers must ensure that the cargo is secured properly before setting off. If the load moves or slides around in the trailer in transit, the shifting weight can change the center of gravity in the truck and cause a truck driver to lose control of the vehicle. This can cause a crash.
A side-swipe accident involves a truck colliding with the side of another vehicle. This type of collision normally happens when a truck tries to move into a lane already occupied by another vehicle. In many cases, the truck driver failed to see this other vehicle due to the truck driver’s blind spot.
A T-bone truck accident involves the front of a truck colliding with the side of another vehicle at a 90-degree angle or another vehicle hitting the side of a truck. At impact, the two vehicles form a “T” shape. T-bone truck accidents can prove especially deadly for the occupants of the “T-boned” vehicle since most vehicles have less protection on the sides compared to the front and rear of the vehicle.
A rear-end accident occurs when the front of a truck hits the rear of another vehicle. These accidents may happen when a truck tailgates another vehicle or when another vehicle moves into the truck driver’s front blind spot. The trucker may not see the forward vehicle brake, causing the truck to run into the back of the vehicle. Distracted truck drivers sometimes cause rear-end accidents when they fail to notice slowing or stopped traffic ahead.
An underride accident involves a passenger vehicle sliding underneath the trailer of a truck. These accidents can prove deadly for occupants of lower-riding passenger vehicles like sedans, coupes, and convertibles, which can get stuck underneath a truck’s trailer. More trucks are now equipped with underride protection to prevent vehicles from getting trapped underneath the truck’s trailer.
Brake failure accident
Large trucks have complex braking systems to bring a vehicle weighing as much as 80,000 pounds to a stop. Unfortunately, air brakes on 18 wheelers can fail due to inadequate maintenance or manufacturing defects. When a large truck’s brakes fail, the truck operator may have no way to slow down and stop the vehicle in time to avoid a collision.
Truck Accident Causes
Irresponsible behavior on the part of truck drivers and negligence on the part of trucking companies cause many truck crashes. The common causes of truck accidents in Las Vegas include:
- Drowsy or fatigued driving – Fatigue is one of the greatest accident risks for commercial truck drivers. Drivers often spend long stretches behind the wheel, sometimes for days at a time. Federal regulations limit the hours that truck drivers may spend on duty or behind the wheel. But some drivers choose to exceed these hours-of-service limits to try to meet tight delivery schedules or get financial incentives for quick deliveries. Unfortunately, fatigue can impact a driver’s performance and make it difficult for the driver to stay awake behind the wheel.
- Distracted driving – Truck drivers must manage several tasks on the road, including observing the road, monitoring the performance of their truck, and navigating their route. Truck drivers also face the same distracting temptations as other motorists, including cell phones, eating, drinking, adjusting the sound system, changing climate controls, and even daydreaming. After spending days on the highway, truck drivers may feel an even greater urge to let their minds and attention wander from the important task of focusing on the road and remaining alert for changes in traffic conditions.
- Speeding or other reckless driving – Some truck drivers choose to engage in unsafe or reckless driving behaviors, such as speeding, driving too fast for road conditions, tailgating, and weaving in and out of traffic. These behaviors may be motivated by strict delivery deadlines, especially if the driver faces traffic or weather delays. Unfortunately, trucks don’t handle like passenger vehicles, so unsafe and reckless truck driving increases the chances of loss of control and an accident.
- Inadequate training and experience – Driving a commercial vehicle requires special training and licensing. Even if an operator holds a commercial driver’s license, trucking companies should ensure that the driver has the training and experience necessary to operate the specific type of truck they drive. Putting an inexperienced driver behind the wheel of a large, complex truck puts everyone at risk. The driver may not have the experience to recognize certain hazardous situations or know how to respond in an emergency.
- Inadequate vehicle maintenance – The law requires truck drivers and trucking companies to conduct regular inspections of their vehicles. Any issues must be repaired for everyone’s safety. Truck owners should follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules. Deferring necessary or recommended maintenance or not performing maintenance properly can increase the chances of a catastrophic mechanical failure that can lead to an accident.
- Unsafe cargo loads – Truck companies must limit the amount of cargo they can haul to meet the manufacturer’s specifications. Overloading a truck can alter its handling, increasing the risk that the truck driver may lose control on the road. Other cargo loading errors, such as unbalanced cargo or not securing the cargo properly, can increase the risk of an accident due to loss of control.
- Impaired driving – Some drivers turn to alcohol to cope with their long hours of work. Other drivers use over-the-counter medications that can cause drowsiness as a side effect. Alcohol or sleepiness impairs a driver’s perception, reaction times, and judgment, making them unsafe behind the wheel.
Injured in a Las Vegas Truck Accident? Contact Our Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys
When someone has done you wrong, you deserve What’s Right. But trucking companies and their insurers will do whatever they can to avoid paying you. They avoid paying the full financial compensation you deserve after a serious truck accident. You need lawyers you can trust on your side if you are up against a truck company and its insurance company.
Turn to Sam and Ash, LLP when you need experienced legal representation and trusted guidance. Call or contact our firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Las Vegas truck accident attorney.