Ohio truck accidents can cause a lot of damage. In 2016, 11,944 units were involved in a crash. How are you supposed to get back on your feet if you’ve been in a collision with an 18-wheeler? Between your personal health and dealing with insurance companies, this situation could easily overwhelm anyone. You can get help filing your claim from a Cincinnati truck accident lawyer at Bey & Associates.
We have years of experience as personal injury lawyers fighting for the rights of citizens. Located in Cincinnati, the lawyers at Bey & Associates understand what you’re going through and will help you with your claim every step of the way.
How Do Truck Accidents Affect Ohio Citizens?
Unsafe truck drivers affect everyone in Ohio. When they engage in reckless driving behaviors, everyone is at risk of being a truck accident victim. Ohio Traffic Crash Facts reports all the vehicle crashes that happened in the state that year. In 2016, many of the truck accidents had consequences like fatalities, injuries, and property damage.
- When the truck driver was in error, there were 30 fatalities, 1,814 injuries, and 7,855 instances of property damage.
- In heavy truck crashes, truck drivers caused 40 fatalities, 2,264 injuries, and 10,232 cases of property damage.
- There were 15 tractor trailer occupant deaths, as well as 929 occupant injuries. In those accidents, there were 27 other fatalities and 2,169 injuries.
Truck accidents happen when they’re involved in non-collision and collision events. Non-collision events include overturning, jackknifing, equipment failure, running off the road and crossing the median. Collision events are when they hit other people and animals on the road, or collide with fixed objects.
Causes of Truck Accidents in Cincinnati
What leads an 18-wheeler to crash on the road? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted a Large Truck Crash Causation Study in 2007 and identified reasons for trucks accidents and major factors that lead to them.
The reasons that truck accidents happen can be categorized as follows:
- Performance vs. Nonperformance. When the driver makes a sudden decision, tries to correct their steering, or loses control of the wheel, then their performance is the reason for the truck accident. Non-performance covers instances where the driver falls asleep, or an emergency health situation occurs and they’re unable to drive. Heart attacks and seizures are examples of non-performance reasons.
- Driver’s Decision. When a driver speeds or tailgates, their decision is the reason of the truck accident.
- Driver’s Focus. Distracted driving, like looking at a phone or looking at something outside of the truck, reduces the driver’s awareness and control.
The factors that are often part of truck crashes are:
- Exhaustion. Fatigue from lack of sleep and driving for long hours puts drivers at risk of slowed reactions, drifting from their lanes, or falling asleep at the wheel.
- Speeding. Driving above the speed limit gives trucks less reaction time to brake, change lanes, or turn. Big rigs need more time to make these changes.
- Not Driving for Weather Conditions. Heaving rain, snow, and ice are all inclement weather that makes driving conditions dangerous. In emergency situations, trucks don’t have enough time to safely brake.
- Traffic Issues. Traffic congestion from rush hour or another crash means driving in close quarters and inconsistent driving speeds, which can make it easy to get into accidents.
- Prescription and Over-The-Counter Drug Use. Illicit drugs slow reaction times, affect decision making skills, and ability to stay alert. Drugs, even if they’re prescribed, can make drivers drowsy and less attentive.
- Driving on New Roads. Whenever a truck driver is on a new road, they may get into an accident because they don’t know the exact route or how the road is laid out. They could have to maneuver unfamiliar blind turns or not know the speed limit.
The Trucking Industry Dilemma
You may think why truckers would drive past the point of exhaustion or why they would stay with the job at all. They’re driving commercial trucks all over the country and seem to have no time to even sleep. But the problem is more complicated than that.
Truck drivers often have to choose between pushing themselves past their physical and legal limits of staying awake, or risk getting assigned the worst jobs. When they complain to their superiors, they could possibly lose their job.
So why don’t they find work somewhere else? Many truck companies require their drivers to purchase their own tractor trailers. The companies’ lease-to-own programs push their drivers into debt because of the cost and the maintenance. The driver’s paychecks covered the trucks’ expenses, reducing their paychecks to pennies.
If these truck drivers spoke out against their hours and were fired, they wouldn’t get to keep the truck due to the nature of the agreement. The trucking companies are cornering their drivers into helpless situations. Truckers often have to choose between a difficult job with impossible hours for little money, or speak up and lose everything.
A Cincinnati Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You
A truck accident can put your life on hold. Dealing with recovery could mean seeing doctors, going to physical therapy, and taking prescription medicine. These expenses add up, and your injuries could also prevent you from returning to work. This stress is a lot for anyone to handle. The good news is you don’t have to go through this alone.
Getting help from an attorney is the first step to standing up for your rights. The truck accident lawyers at Bey & Associates will stand by your side and fight for you to get the compensation you need. Call us today for a free consultation at (513) 202-3912.