Flatbed trucks, which generally haul oversized and unusually shaped cargo, travel across the country. Carrying all types of loads, from modular housing to industrial equipment, these trucks carry cargo that can break free from the flatbed. This type of accident can be catastrophic and these trucks can pose a significant risk of harm to others on the road in the event of a crash. Below is information on flatbed truck accidents including causes, damage, and rights of victims. To learn more about your legal options after being involved in an accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at H&P Law today.
Crash Statistics and Causes
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that accidents involving flatbeds account for as much as 10 to 12% of fatal and injury-causing truck accidents in the United States. Over a three-year period recently, the total number of deadly flatbed truck accidents increased by 31% — from 451 crashes to 592 crashes.
While the FMCSA does not publish breakdowns of the causes of flatbed truck accidents. From data that FMCSA does publish, it can be gathered that truck-related crashes have certain factors that contribute to the collisions. Specifically:
- Speeding: When a flatbed truck driver speeds, the time he or she has to react to a hazard on the road is shortened and the distance the truck needs to come to a controlled stop increases. These factors increase the risk of injury or death due to loss of control of the flatbed truck because of brake failure, skidding, or even jackknifing.
- Distracted driving: Keeping a large truck with heavy cargo safely on the road can be complicated. A moment’s distraction — a text, the radio, a GPS, or something else — can rob a truck driver of his or her ability to react to adn keep an eye on other vehicles on the road. This is particularly true for smaller passenger vehicles that are in a flatbed truck’s blind spots.
- Driver fatigue: Truck drivers, particularly long-haul truck drivers, commonly suffer from sleep deprivation and fatigue. Truck drivers work long hours and irregular schedules. Driving long roads for hours can numb the senses and is monotonous. All of these increase the risk of accidents.
- Cargo: Flatbed trucks carry oversized, heavy, and oddly shaped cargo across the country. The large mass of the cargo combined with its odd dimensions causes problems for drivers who are at risk of an accident. The cargo can block sightlines, expand blindspots, shift if improperly secured, and make driving hard due to wind, rain, or snowy conditions.
These causes, as well as others, highlight how possible a flatbed truck accident is on the road.
Seek Legal Help
Those who are involved in a flatbed truck accident should act quickly to protect their legal rights by contacting a Las Vegas personal injury attorney. A flatbed truck accident will typically cause widespread property damage as well as harm to multiple victims. An insurance company will likely limit liability through aggressive tactics. Contact H&P Law today.