Part II of “Semi-Truck Accidents – Facts and Fiction“.
Facts from Fiction about 18 Wheelers – 4 Additional Misconceptions
5. All semi-trucks have a device that captures crash data!
Some semi-trucks do have an event data recorder or black box on board but these get triggered only by crash-like conditions such as hard braking, sudden and significant acceleration and sharp steering movements. In some cases, the recorders are programmed to capture data in a loop, so they only save the last few minutes of information.
What you need to know – An onboard black box is not yet a legal requirement for semi-trucks. This means that you may not get the crash reports you are seeking from the event recorder.
Also, trucking companies are not obligated to tell the crash victims about the availability of black box data or maintain this data for a long time. The only chance you have to get this information from the trucking company is through an early investigation. Hiring an experienced attorney will ensure this data is preserved.
6. You need to learn how to drive around big trucks!
Every motorist shares equal responsibility for on-road safety! While many crashes are caused because the drivers of semi-trucks assume the other motorists know how to drive around large vehicles, many times these collisions are caused because the smaller vehicle is in the blind spot of the larger truck.
Safety tip – Do not make sudden moves when driving in the vicinity of large vehicles. You need to understand that the truck driver needs more time and greater distance to stop a loaded rig than a motorist who is driving a regular sized car.
7. Weather conditions and mechanical failure are the largest contributors to truck collisions!
Mechanical failures can indeed have disastrous consequences when controlling a semi-truck that is 30 times heavier than the other vehicles on the road. However, this is far from being the primary reason for truck crashes. Driver error has consistently been rated as the main cause of all large vehicle collisions while poor weather and road conditions come in not far behind.
Contributing factors – Driver error is caused by a range of factors, including alcohol and drug consumption, effects of prescription drugs, drowsiness and other factors.
8. Early crash scene investigation and reconstruction are imperative in case of truck collisions!
Although it is a federal requirement for all truck collisions to be investigated by a certified inspector, such investigations do not always result in conclusive reports. In fact, there is often a lot lacking in the reports of these investigations. In order to completely understand the circumstances of the collision and the factors that led to the wreck, a detailed reconstruction of the collision is necessary.
When you work with an experienced attorney after being involved in a semi-truck collision, your attorney will recruit several crash experts and make sure that the trucking company provides all the information needed by the forensic experts. This information often proves to be the key to fair restitution for the victims.
Get an experienced semi-truck collision attorney – Truck companies often try to hide crash related information from claimants and insurance companies. Without access to this data, you may not be able to prove the fault of the driver or the company and they may not respond to your requests for the information unless you get a legal professional involved in the matter.