Anyone who has traveled on the roadway near logging trucks has likely done what they can to steer clear of these vehicles. The prospect of driving right behind a truck filled with logs that seem like they could fall off at any moment is not fun.
The reality is that there are significant dangers involved with log trucks that drivers do need to be aware of. Here, the Santa Ana personal injury attorneys discuss these dangers as well as the steps that you can take to help avoid accidents involving these vehicles on the roadway.
Common Causes of Logging Truck Accidents
There is a study that indicates that 70% of all log truck collisions occur in the Southeast US, which is where the logging industry has a fairly strong foothold. However, these incidents can occur anywhere log trucks operate, which is across the US for transportation purposes. There are various causes of these accidents, often due to the careless or negligent actions of the trucking company, the truck driver, or the individuals responsible for loading the logs onto the truck.
Some of the most common causes of logging truck accidents include:
- Traffic law violations. Various violations that can occur include driving too fast for conditions, improper lane change, failure to obey traffic signs or signals, and more.
- Improperly secured or loaded cargo. Loading these logs onto the truck is an incredibly important part of the process, and improperly loaded or secured logs could fall off the truck and into traffic.
- Driving errors. Drivers can make various errors on the roadway, many of which would also be traffic law violations. Some of these errors include following others too closely, talking or texting on a cell phone, improperly judging the distance from other vehicles, etc.
- Improper reversing. When a log truck driver backs the vehicle up, they must be extra cautious. Logging trucks that involve multiple trailers will be far more complicated to back up and could lead to accidents with vehicles around them.
- Inclement weather. Anytime there is unsafe weather, including snow, rain, sleet, fog, or high winds, these could be examples of conditions that make it difficult for the truck driver to operate the vehicle.
- Unsafe road conditions. Hazardous conditions on the roadway can occur in a variety of ways. This can include roadway defects like potholes that could increase the chances that an accident occurs as well as other debris on the roadway, including trees, other vehicles, or even other logs.
- Operating under the influence. Commercial truck drivers, including those who operate logging trucks, should not operate under the influence of any substance. The legal blood alcohol concentration limit for these drivers is .04%, which is half of the legal limit for traditional passenger car drivers.
- Defective trucking parts. A logging truck crash could have been caused by a malfunctioning component within the vehicle or on the trailer itself.
Who is Liable for Log Truck Accidents?
Determining liability for a log truck accident can be challenging, and there will need to be an extensive investigation into the incident. Generally, liability will fall to one of the following parties:
- The truck driver
- The owner of the truck
- The logging company
- Maintenance companies
- Cargo loading companies
- Shipping entities
- Government entities
Any person harmed in a logging truck accident needs to speak to a skilled truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. A Santa Ana truck accident attorney can help recover compensation after conducting a complete investigation into the crash. The team of attorneys at Callahan & Blaine have the skills and resources to hold the negligent party liable after a log truck accident.