Truck accidents frequently cause devastating injuries and financial loss. If you were injured in a truck crash caused by someone else’s negligence, our semi-truck accident law firm can help. Our truck accident lawyers are ready to pursue compensation to help you pay medical bills and recoup lost wages, among other expenses.
At Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer, our team has the knowledge and resources to protect your rights and seek justice. Contact us today for a free consultation with a semi accident attorney.
The Reality of Truck Accidents in Phoenix
Truck accidents are all too common in Phoenix. According to recent data from the Arizona Department of Transportation:
- Over 230,000 vehicles were involved in collisions in Arizona in one recent year. Of these, over 15,000 were trucks and buses, accounting for nearly 7 percent of the vehicles in crashes statewide.
- More than 100 truck tractors were involved in fatal crashes in Arizona that year, while over 600 were involved in injury crashes.
- Most crashes (70 percent) happen during daylight hours, between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm.
- More truck tractors (with or without semi-trailers) are likely to be involved in a crash than other trucks.
Understanding Truck Dynamics
Truck dynamics refer to the physical and mechanical aspects that affect the movement, control, and behavior of trucks on the road. These dynamics are crucial in understanding how trucks are different from passenger cars and how these differences contribute to a crash:
- Greater size and weight – Trucks are larger and heavier than most other vehicles. The weight distribution within the truck, including the cargo, affects its stability and handling. Improper weight distribution can lead to issues like swaying and tipping.
- Higher center of gravity – The center of gravity is critical to a vehicle’s stability. Trucks with a high center of gravity are more prone to tipping, especially during sharp turns or sudden maneuvers.
- Bigger blind spots (no-zones) – Trucks have significant blind spots, also known as no-zones, where the truck driver has limited or no visibility. These areas typically include the rear of the trailer, directly behind the cab, and alongside the truck, especially on the right side.
- Larger turning radius – Trucks have a larger turning radius than smaller vehicles, making certain maneuvers more challenging, especially in urban areas.
- Unique transmission and braking system – Trucks need additional gears to manage their tremendous weight and supplement the braking system. Unlike the hydraulic brakes found on most cars, tractor-trailers and many other large trucks use air brakes.
Essential Safety Measures for Passenger Vehicles
Most passenger vehicles have built-in safety features that can help prevent accidents or protect occupants from serious injuries. Examples include:
- Seat belts – Always wear your seat belt and ensure all passengers do the same. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that about half of passenger vehicle occupants killed in traffic accidents in a recent year were not wearing seat belts.
- Airbags – Airbags provide additional protection during a crash, working with seat belts to reduce the impact on occupants.
- Child safety seats – Follow guidelines for correctly placing and securing child seats to ensure optimal protection.
- Blind spot indicators – Use your side view mirror blind spot indicators, if available, to reduce the chances of collisions when changing lanes.
- Backup cameras – Backup cameras assist you in parking and maneuvering in reverse to reduce the risk of hitting an obstacle, pedestrian, or another car.
- Anti-lock braking system (ABS) – ABS prevents wheel lockup during hard braking, maintaining steering control and enhancing overall braking performance.
- Adaptive cruise control – If your vehicle features adaptive cruise control, understand how it adjusts speed to maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle ahead.
- Electronic stability control (ESC) – ESC helps maintain vehicle stability and prevent skidding and loss of control during abrupt maneuvers on slippery road conditions.
- Traction control system (TCS) – TCS prevents wheel spin during acceleration by adjusting engine power or applying brakes to specific wheels.
Role of Vehicle Maintenance in Preventing Accidents
Commercial trucks and passenger vehicles must receive regular maintenance. Here are suggestions from the American Automobile Association (AAA) for maintaining your vehicle to prevent a crash.
- Check headlights, turn signals, and backup lights. Don’t wait until your headlight bulb burns out. Dimming bulbs produce less light and, therefore, reduce visibility.
- Help prolong the life of your car battery by driving for at least 30 minutes every week to maintain a full charge.
- Follow the dealer’s or manufacturer’s recommendations for regular maintenance, including oil changes for peak engine performance.
- Keep tires inflated at the recommended pressure for optimal fuel use. Worn tires can blow out or fail to hold the road, so check the tread regularly.
Navigating Phoenix Roads: Tips and Strategies to Avoid Truck Crashes
Drivers should exercise additional caution when traveling among large trucks in and around Phoenix. Here are some strategies to avoid commercial truck crashes:
- Provide ample space. Keep a safe following distance of four seconds or more between your vehicle and large trucks. This precaution helps prevent potentially hazardous situations, such as abrupt stops leading to rear-end collisions, truck rollovers in high winds, or wide truck turns. Remember, if you cannot see the truck’s mirrors, the truck driver likely cannot see you.
- Pass cautiously, especially when traveling behind large trucks. It is advisable to overtake on the left side, as blind spots around a large vehicle are smaller on this side. Pass quickly and do not linger in the truck’s blind spot.
- Stay vigilant. Avoid distractions like changing the radio, eating, or conversing with passengers. Maintain awareness of your proximity to large trucks while sharing the road.
- Steer clear of drowsy driving. Fatigue is a common factor in accidents, so refrain from driving when overly tired to ensure your safety and that of others on the road.
Steps to Take After a Semi-Truck Accident
Even the safest drivers can be involved in semi-truck accidents. Follow these steps to protect your legal rights after a crash:
- Report the accident to law enforcement.
- Get medical care and continue with follow-up treatment as directed.
- Keep copies of bills and receipts related to your treatment.
- Start a journal to document your recovery and how your injuries affect your daily life.
- Call our semi-truck accident law firm for a free case assessment.
Contact Our Phoenix Truck Accident Attorney to Learn More
The award-winning legal team at Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer focuses on helping injury victims pursue compensation after devastating accidents. We have an excellent record of results and a reputation for standing up to insurance companies for maximum settlements.
Contact a Phoenix semi-accident attorney today for a free, no-obligation consultation.