Commercial trucks are scary things. If you’ve ever driven alongside one, you know just how frightening they can seem. Owing to their enormous size, coupled with the hazardous conditions under which their drivers are often asked to operate, big-rig trucks are particularly dangerous. Indeed, trucking accidents in Washington are especially likely to cause significant injury or even death. Victims frequently face mounting medical costs, long-term pain and suffering, and a diminished quality of life. The crashes may also impact multiple vehicles or victims. But why do they happen?
Common Causes for Commercial Trucking Accidents
Truckers are people too. Like many of us, they work hard at a demanding job. The hours — and the roads — can be long. The routes grow tiring and lonely. But they have deadlines to meet, and their bosses may pressure them to make aggressive timelines. Too often, that spells danger. Factors frequently contributing to trucking accidents include:
- Driver fatigue / sleep deprivation
- Too many hours behind the wheel at once
- Insufficient time for rest between consecutive shifts
- Defects in the trucks themselves (or the tires)
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- Speeding, or failure to follow traffic rules
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Following too closely
- Employers who ask their drivers to value punctuality and efficiency over safety
- Trucks carrying too much weight from cargo
- Trips in the road or other hazards that cause trucks to roll over
Trucking Accidents in Washington Are All Too Common
For Washington drivers, there is real concern about the disproportionate frequency of big-rig wrecks. Even though they make up relatively few of the total vehicles on the road, semi-trailer trucks are involved in an alarming number of crashes. In fact, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation, there were 2,971 large trucking accidents in Washington during 2010 alone. Of those, 56 involved serious injuries and 22 resulted in death.
Talk to a Truck Accident Attorney
Federal regulations govern the conditions under which commercial truckers can operate, including limitations on the number of hours they can drive without rest. Unfortunately, some employers still push their drivers to the limit and beyond. Violations of state or federal law are often found to be at fault in trucking accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial trucking accident in Washington, an experienced Seattle truck accident attorney at Luvera Law Firm can help. We will work with qualified experts to determine whether your crash involved negligence or a violation of the law. Our effective litigators can fight on your behalf to achieve the results you deserve. For a free consultation with our firm, please feel free to contact our office today!