Quality Legal Assistance Following Big Rig Truck Accidents
Negligent big rig drivers, and owners, are responsible by law to pay for all damages that they cause. They are governed by unique rules and regulations and have a responsibility to maintain logs as well as a current medical certificate. In addition, like all drivers, big rig operators must drive with “reasonable care under the circumstances.”
A big rig truck typically weighs 80,000 pounds and ranges about 67-75 feet long. Imagine an average sized passenger vehicle colliding head-on with this huge monster. The tremendous difference in size and weight present a distinct element to accidents involving big rig trucks. When traveling at 65 mph, it takes these monsters an additional 100 feet to stop than it would if they were traveling at 55 mph.
The three most common causes of large trucks accidents are:
- Reckless driving
- Mechanical failures
- Driver fatigue
Reckless driving includes (but is not limited to) excessive speed, improper lane changes, following too closely, failure to yield right-of-way, illegal turns, and failure to obey traffic signals. Of those, speeding alone (whether exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions) accounts for 20% of all the fatal crashes involving large trucks and over 17% of the injury accidents. Speeding is usually the cause of rollover accidents, as well as jack-knife incidents which occur when a panic stop locks the front axle, causing the trailer to slide out-of-control past the cab.
Mechanical failures can involve something as simple as inoperative truck taillights that cause a rear-end collision on a dark highway, or as obvious as brake failure on a long downhill grade.
Driver Fatigue is a critical factor in over 30% of heavy vehicle accidents. Fatigue is sometimes called “the silent killer” because it cannot be revealed in accident scene tests, like those for alcohol or other drugs – which surprisingly, play a statistically minor role in most large truck accidents.
Issues addressing the procedures involved in the hiring and training of drivers are starting to surface. Certain standards must be met before just anyone is allowed to sit above us and take our lives into their hands.
Case & Dusterhoff, LLP, is experienced in handling big rig truck accidents and can handle cases throughout Oregon and Washington. When called for, we hire experts in accident reconstruction and roadway design, as well as the best experts for our clients.
If you would like to speak with one of our experienced lawyers at Case & Dusterhoff, LLP, we are available to answer your questions and help you. Call us at 503-607-8218, toll free at 800-658-0167 or send us information online.