On July 17, 2014, the combination of a lost, out-of-town truck driver and defective truck breaks resulted in a sixty-foot flatbed truck launching into a Boston Common stairwell, just a few blocks from our Six Beacon Street office. Thankfully there were no injuries, but authorities cleared out the vicinity including Boston Common Frog Pond wading area due to concerns about the truck’s fuel tanks and any possible leaks or explosions.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 104,000 injuries from collisions involving large trucks and 3,921 fatalities. These numbers are an unfortunate increase from the same statistics in 2011 and 2010. The NHTSA also reports that large trucks are 23% more likely to be involved in fatal multiple-vehicle crashes than a passenger vehicle. The vast majority of fatal crashes that include large trucks occur during the day (6:00am – 5:59pm) on weekdays. However, on weekends, crashes appear to be more likely to occur at nighttime (6:00pm – 5:59am).
If you and your family are on the road, be constantly aware of the traffic around you, especially if there are large trucks or tractor-trailers in the vicinity. Always give your vehicle plenty of space around the perimeter of the truck and remember if you can’t see their mirrors, you may be in their blind spot. Also remember that trucks take wider turns than passenger vehicles. Twelve percent of multiple-vehicle collisions involving large trucks were caused by either the truck or the passenger vehicle attempting to handle a turn or curve.
Tractor-Trailer Accident Causes and Liability
As we have mentioned in previous posts, truck-drivers are required to rest for 34 consecutive hours when they reach the maximum 70-hour workweek. If a trucking company allows its drivers to break that rule, it faces a five-figure fine and the driver faces financial consequences as well. These are not one-time fines, either; for every additional breach of regulation, the company or driver will have to pay additional fines.
Some causes of tractor-trailer accidents are a faulty vehicle, improper loading of shipment, road conditions, and the health (immediate or on-going) of the driver. Sometimes, like in the case of the Boston Common truck accident, the cause may be as simple as the driver getting lost. The liable party in some of these cases may not necessarily be the driver themselves.
If, for example, the tires on the truck were poorly manufactured, the producer of those tires may be the true party at fault. However, if the owner of the trailer knew of those unsafe tires, they too are liable. Determining liability and working with the associated parties can be a complicated matter. Choose an attorney who will be on your side and assist through the entire process.
Hire an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
Call Attorney Neil Burns for a consultation immediately if your or a loved one are involved in a tractor-trailer accident. Attorney Burns has been aggressively representing clients since 1985. He can help navigate the mess that determining liability can be and do everything possible to get you every dollar earned. There is no cost until your case is won! Call 617-227-7423!