Big Rig Truck Accidents

Georgia Big Rig Accident Attorneys

By whatever name you know them, big rigs pose a threat to the lives and safety of other motorists on Georgia’s roads. Their massive size, speed, and power create a dangerous, life-threatening situation if the big rig driver merely being on the roads, never mind when he or she is negligent or reckless.

The state of Georgia and Atlanta, in particular, enjoys the ease of access to numerous interstate highways and major freeways that connect to all states in the southeast. With so many roads passing through, there is little wonder why Georgia drivers confront big rigs driving along with them. One can never truly become accustomed to driving alongside a big rig. The driver and passengers of the smaller vehicle know without much hesitation that if the big rig driver made a mistake by changing lanes without looking, experienced a mechanical failure, became fatigued and sleepy, or took evasive action because the driver followed too closely to the vehicle in front, that they might be dead within seconds.

Big rig accidents may be reduced to three primary causes: driver, mechanical, and environmental. Big rig drivers do not have much control over environmental factors such as rain, sleet, hail, or snow. Neither do they have control over lane closures and broken down vehicles, but they must, at all times and without exception, maintain a safe speed and stay in control of their big rig in every environmental condition.

Big rig drivers may not have control over mechanical problems either. Some problems might occur because of a manufacturing defect. Other problems could be prevented if the driver and the trucking company took the time to perform the required pre-trip and post-trip safety examination. The proper safety examination also includes stopping every three hours or 150 miles driven to check the security of the big rig’s freight as required by federal regulations.

The most commonly cited reason for big rig accidents is human error. Humans make mistakes, and there is nothing to be done about that. However, making a mistake with operating a big rig can be deadly. Common big rig errors are:

  • Driver fatigue or actually falling asleep at the wheel,
  • Inattentiveness,
  • Prescription, over-the-counter, or illicit drug use,
  • Alcohol consumption,
  • Failing to judge distances accurately,
  • Committing a moving violation such as failing to stop or yield,
  • Pressure to get work done, whether within lawful constraints or in contravention of the law,
  • Speeding,
  • Reckless driving,
  • Inexperienced driving the route or with the vehicle,
  • Distracted driving,
  • Failing to secure cargo properly,
  • Overweight,
  • Load off balance,
  • Lack of sleep due to irregular sleep schedules or short notice before leaving on excursion, and
  • Medical problems such as sleep apnea, heart problems, diabetes, and other health issues.

These driver-related problems account for the overwhelming majority of the crashes in which the big rig driver was liable. As a result of these driver issues, big rigs can jackknife, rollover, or have a runaway problem.

Big rig trucking companies might be liable for damages in addition to the driver. Trucking companies have a duty to make sure that the drivers are well-trained and qualified to operate their big rigs. Trucking companies are also responsible for properly maintaining their fleet as well as ensuring driver compliance with state and federal regulations.

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