They are so common that you probably did not even notice them when you were driving to work today: trucks. Large trucks, small trucks, semi-trucks, box trucks, and all trucks in between travel on and over the roads of Arizona every day, moving things like fuel, electronics, and groceries from their source locations to their destinations so that life in Phoenix continues to move without skipping a beat.
Trucks are literally everywhere and serve a very vital function in our society, but that does not mean that they offer only positives. Rather, the drawbacks associated with the trucking industry can be extreme and truck accidents alone are responsible for hundreds of thousands of injuries annually and thousands of fatalities.
Human error continues to be a leading factor in truck-related traffic collisions though who makes the offending error can vary greatly. In some instances, a truck driver behind the wheel is distracted by a radio, cell phone GPS device, or even food he is consuming and fails to pay attention to changing traffic conditions, causing a collision. In other cases, the driver may be overly tired after driving a long shift or may have violated federal guidelines by driving too long without a break, leading to a fatigue-caused collision. Sometimes, an employee at a dock or similar loading facility may be to blame if a truck is improperly loaded, if the cargo is not evenly distributed, or if hazardous material is packed in an improper manner. A significant number of truck accidents are caused by those who are not associated with a truck like when the driver of a car or SUV follows a truck too closely or fails to merge in a safe manner and strikes a truck.
If you think about a car accident or a truck collision in the abstract, it may be easy to imagine that one driver is at fault and the other one is innocent. However, in real life, these determinations can be much more complicated and legal liability may rest on dozens of factors. Often, multiple parties, including an employer and an insurance company, may bear part of the blame for a crash. Determining precisely which entities and what individuals are responsible for an accident is crucial so that a victim may seek relief in a timely and appropriate manner.
Most people do not appreciate the devastation that can stem from a trucking incident unless they have been involved in one personally or know someone who has. Unlike a crash between two similar sized cars, a collision with a truck and a smaller vehicle places the smaller vehicle at a substantial disadvantage and may lead to the truck partially or wholly running over the second vehicle. The injuries and harm when this happens are often catastrophic and may prove fatal.
Trucks are a part of live here in Maricopa County and they are not going anywhere. If you see one, appreciate their purpose but proceed with caution, giving extra space to the truck and making sure you respect the trucker’s need to turn, merge, accelerate, and stop. If you find yourself the victim of a collision involving any type of truck, consider speaking with a personal injury attorney to learn about your legal rights and options here in Arizona.
Prior Blog Entry:
Water Safety Urged after Recent Phoenix Swimming Pool Accidents, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published August 9, 2016.