Time is money to most commercial trucking companies. This mentality forces their drivers to be on the road longer and make their shipments faster. In order for drivers to meet their quotas, many times rules, regulations and proper driving protocol are forgone.
As truck accident attorneys in the state of Montana, it is unfortunate to see time and time again, this sort negligence and disregard lead to many fatal and catastrophic trucking accidents.
Common Trucking Accidents in Montana
When looking from case to case, there are a few recurring themes when it is found that a truck driver or their company is at fault in an accident. Here are a few of the most common trucking accident causes.
1. Driver Error
Some truck operators are made to work as much as 70 hours in an 8 day period. With so much time spent on the road, there is an increased chance for the driver to make a costly mistake and cause an accident. General fatigue, becoming distracted, drug abuse, and other causes may become factors the longer a driver is on the road.
2. Truck Equipment Failure
The FMSCA (Federal Motor Safety Care Association) requires all truck drivers and their companies about to embark on a trip to perform maintenance inspections on their vehicle. Additionally, the drivers are to file a report at the end of each day’s work.
These inspections serve to ensure the truck is free of any design or manufacturing errors. The following parts and accessories are checked almost daily:
Service and parking brakes, trailer brake connections, windshield wipers, steering, headlights, lights, reflectors, tires, horn, mirrors, coupling devices, wheels and rims, and all necessary emergency equipment.
Unfortunately, these rules and regulations enforced by the FMSCA are often ignored by drivers and their employers. The result is more tragic accidents and fatal crashes on the road.
3. Poor Weather Conditions
When winter rolls through the state of Montana, the road conditions and visibility can be treacherous. Tragically, this greatly increases the potential for fatal trucking accidents to occur.
With the weight of most trucks being in the thousands of tonnes, trucks have a harder time making complete stops and steering is made far more difficult in the winter snow. When truck drivers fail to adjust for the poorer road conditions, they are far more likely to cause an accident.
Weather conditions like snow, hail, and especially rain continue to be a major cause of trucking accidents. Unfortunately, stories like this Missoulian truck driver who failed to stop on a wet road after a failed stop, continue to happen.
4. Improper Loading
In many truck accident cases, a company will fail to safely tie down and secure its cargo. This often results in various debris falling onto the roadway which interferes with other drivers. In some cases where a load is improperly balanced, the truck will topple over.
Are you the Victim of a Trucking Accident?
If a negligent truck driver or trucking company has caused an accident that has affected you, a loved one, or your property, you may be entitled to compensation.
At Hoyt & Blewett PLLC, we have successfully represented clients injured in trucking accidents in Great Falls and throughout Montana for over 30 years. We have a wealth of experience in truck accident claims involving negligent truck operators, pedestrians, dangerous road conditions, traffic violations, and defective trucking equipment.
In 2008, our firm was awarded a $2.5 million verdict in a case against the employer of a negligent truck driver. The fatal tragedy resulted in serious injury and the death of our clients. After filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the insurance company in Federal court, we were able to prove that the truck driver failed to signal and was ultimately responsible for the fatal aftermath his actions caused.