It should be no surprise that crashes involving large commercial trucks can cause severe injuries. Some truck accident victims have their lives completely changed, as they may suffer permanent disabilities or impairments because of their injuries. These injuries can keep people from earning a living. Some people might even require assistance with everyday activities and personal care. Truck accident victims also commonly incur significant medical expenses and other financial losses.
Because of the substantial dangers associated with tractor trailer crashes, it is important to be aware of what to watch for on the highway and how to react. The following are some signs that there may be risks of a truck crashing.
- Erratic driving – Truck drivers can make driving errors or engage in dangerous behavior just like any other driver. Sometimes, you can see signs that a truck driver may be impaired, distracted, or falling asleep at the wheel before an accident happens. If a trailer is swaying or swerving or if the truck is unnecessarily fluctuating in speed, you should stay as far away from the truck as possible. In addition, if you see a truck that is speeding or making dangerous lane changes, these are signs that the truck driver may be aggressive and may cause harm.
- High winds or other dangerous conditions – Trucks are more difficult to operate and maneuver than smaller passenger vehicles are. Because of the height and length of trucks, certain conditions can cause a driver to lose control and crash. For example, heavy gusts of wind can throw a trailer off balance, leading to a crash. Other conditions that may be dangerous include icy conditions and steep road inclines. Additionally, heavy fog may make it difficult for other drivers to see the trailer of a truck.
- Tanker or HAZMAT trucks – Tanker trucks and hazardous material (HAZMAT) trucks often carry toxic, corrosive, or flammable materials. In the event of a crash, the trailer could leak. Such chemicals can spill into the surrounding area or be released into the air, which can lead to widespread injury for anyone in the area. There is also a risk that flammable cargo will catch fire or explode after a crash. If you see a tanker or HAZMAT truck that has crashed, get as far away from the accident as you can to avoid any injuries.
- Flatbed trucks – The trailers of traditional semitrucks have walls and a ceiling that holds the cargo inside. However, some cargo is too large or heavy or awkwardly shaped to fit into a traditional trailer. In such situations, a flatbed trailer may be used. When a flatbed trailer crashes, there are no walls to contain the cargo. Large, heavy objects may spill into the road and cause additional injuries and damage. Such cargo can include large logs, heavy machinery, other vehicles, and other dangerous items.
If you believe you witness any potential signs of dangerous truck driving or a possible crash, get as far ahead of the truck as possible or stay far enough behind the truck to avoid being involved in a collision. In addition, if a truck crashes in front of you, make sure you are focused so that you can react in time and avoid a chain reaction crash.
In the event you are in a truck accident, determining what caused the accident is critical to seeking compensation for your financial losses as well as pain and suffering. Investigating the cause of a crash can require many resources, so you want to seek assistance from an attorney who has the knowledge and ability to identify the cause of a crash.
All circumstances can be considered during a truck accident investigation, including any signs you witnessed of erratic driving, dangerous conditions, or other potential indications of a truck crash prior to the accident occurring. You should always write down what you witnessed, as even the slightest details can help lead to a determination of what caused the accident so that you can hold the responsible party liable for your losses.
Contact a Philadelphia Truck Accident Attorney for More Information
It is important to be safe and avoid a truck accident whenever possible. However, if you were injured in a truck crash, you should not wait to call a skilled truck accident lawyer at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia. Please contact us today at 215-825-5183 for a free consultation.