Any type of accident with a massive truck can cause occupants of motor vehicles to suffer traumatic injuries and deaths. A common—and deadly—accident that truckers repeatedly cause is a side impact crash—also known as T-bone or broadside accident—where the front end of the truck smashes into a door of a passenger vehicle. According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA), side impact crashes accounted for 26% of the 3,903 people killed in truck wrecks in 2014. If you or a family member is the unfortunate victim of one of these accidents, you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent trucker and his trucking company.
Why Do T-Bone Accidents Occur?
Truckers cause side impact crashes for a variety of reasons as they rush to deliver their loads. Driver error is a common theme of the many causes of these preventable wrecks. Reasons they happen include:
- Not coming to a complete stop. While passenger vehicle drivers do this too, it can be more dangerous for a trucker to try to roll through a four-way stop instead of stopping. Trucks take longer in general to come to a complete stop, and a trucker trying to roll through the intersection will have insufficient time to do so before causing a T-bone crash.
- Failing to yield. This is another way that these crashes occur at four-way stops. A trucker fails to obey the rules of which driver has right of way—the person on the left—and instead, barrels through the intersection right into another vehicle.
- Running red lights. When a trucker tries to make a light, he is speeding up to get through the intersection before it turns red. This makes it impossible for him to stop in time if he suddenly realizes that he is not going to make it.
- Turning across traffic lanes. Turning left across traffic lanes can be even more challenging for a trucker who needs additional time to pick up speed when turning and to get through the light given the massive trailer he is pulling. If he misjudges his ability to safely turn, he could be found liable for the crash and issued a citation—making it easier for a victim to prove negligence if he turns left into another vehicle.
- Improper right turns. Before turning right, truckers also need to be certain that they have the complete right of way before proceeding, or a deadly collision could be the consequence.
- Impaired driving. Driving while intoxicated due to alcohol or drug use can reduce a trucker’s reaction time and general driving skills. This can easily cause him to make the wrong decision to turn or proceed through an intersection when he should not.
- Braking and steering problems. If a trucker cannot brake when necessary or properly steer due to maintenance and repair problems, a tragic side impact wreck can become unavoidable.
- Weather conditions. Whenever the roads are slippery due to ice, snow, or rain or visibility is poor, truckers need to slow down. If they are more concerned with hurrying to their next destination than safety, they can slide into another vehicle’s side door when they are unable to stop.
- Road defects. Although rarer, sometimes the lack of signs, defective stop lights, or other defects in the construction or design of a road can be a contributing cause of one of these crashes.
Let Christopher Hudson Help You Obtain the Compensation You Deserve
Because of the lack of much protection—just a door and window—between you and a truck in a T-bone crash, you could suffer catastrophic injuries like concussions, traumatic brain injury, serious back, neck, and spinal injuries, paralysis, internal organ damage, and more. You need to hire an experienced truck accident attorney quickly so he can take steps to preserve crucial evidence by sending the trucking company a spoliation letter. Let Christopher Hudson take over the burden of investigating your crash, preserving evidence, and negotiate your settlement. Call us today at 706-863-6600 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn about your right to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.