Cement trucks fill an important role in our society and on our roads. Thanks to their deliveries, worksites around the country are able to receive the large volumes of concrete they need for their daily operations. However, as necessary as these vehicles may be for many types of industries, the presence of cement trucks is often less than welcome for the other drivers on the road. This is especially true when these large trucks collide with other vehicles.
The aftermath of an accident with a cement truck can be disastrous. Following the initial shock and emergency treatment, the road to recovery is often long and difficult. Weeks or months of lost work, medical bills piling up, and the emotional effects of serious injuries wear down many accident victims.
If you or a family member has been involved in a cement truck accident, the team at Judd Shaw Law is here to help. Starting a free case review with one of our team members can provide the guidance and help you need to plan your next steps and move on toward fair compensation.
Contact us today to learn how the lawyers at Judd Shaw Injury Law can assist you so you can focus on your recovery. With our No Fee Guarantee®, you won’t pay us anything unless you get money from your claim.
Why Cement Truck Accidents Are So Dangerous
One of the biggest reasons why cement truck accidents are so dangerous has to do with the size and weight of these vehicles. While they are physically smaller than some large vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, cement trucks are designed to carry an enormous amount of weight.
For example, a common SUV found on the road, such as a RAV-4, weighs around 3,500 pounds. A fully loaded cement truck, however, can weigh more than 65,000 pounds – nearly 20 times as much! When these two vehicles collide, it is easy to understand why there are often devastating consequences for the passenger vehicle.
In addition to their size and weight, cement trucks are more prone to experiencing a rollover than smaller vehicles. First of all, cement trucks have a higher center of gravity, making them more likely to become unbalanced. Secondly, because of the liquid concrete spinning inside, the shifting weight can cause cement trucks to tip over when turning sharply or at too high a speed.
Potential Causes of Cement Truck Accidents
After a car accident, one of the most important steps in recovering compensation is accurately determining fault. Of course, each side has a story to tell – and these are likely to contradict each other. In many cases, insurance companies may try to minimize or shift blame in an effort to either avoid or reduce the compensation they are required to pay out to the victims.
At Judd Shaw Injury Law, we understand the importance of thorough investigation and we will conduct our own in order to build you a strong case. We also know that no two cases are the same. Our lawyers take the necessary time to examine the details of each client’s accident to accurately determine and prove liability. There are various factors that could contribute to an accident, and, in many cases, more than one played a significant role.
Driver error or negligence
Cement truck drivers must have an up-to-date commercial driver’s license in order to operate the vehicle. Despite this, it does not make them immune to making driving errors or entitled to being negligent at the wheel. In fact, a cement truck driver may make the following errors.
Driving too fast
Since cement trucks are often transporting mixed concrete, it is important for deliveries to be made in a timely manner. If cement sits for too long in the truck, it can begin to dry out and end up unusable, leading to lost time and money for both the trucking company and their recipients. This pressure to make timely deliveries can lead to someone driving too fast, taking corners too sharply, or making other unsafe decisions that can lead to disaster.
Almost anything can distract a driver from the road. Even a brief moment of divided attention, perhaps a few seconds, can be enough to cause an accident. Cement truck drivers may be distracted using a cellphone to read or send messages, and even inputting information into a GPS device poses a huge risk. When a driver is distracted, he or she may start to veer out of the lane or slow down in reacting to changing traffic conditions or sudden stops.
Commercial drivers may be required to work long hours and cover long distances. In addition to any underlying medical conditions or medications, this can increase someone’s chances of driving while fatigued or drowsy.
Similarly to distracted driving or driving under the influence, drowsy drivers have a slower reaction time and are less likely to identify and respond to hazards. In fact, some organizations claim that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as driving under the influence. A fatigued driver may begin to lose focus before even realizing it, further adding to the hazards on the road.
Every vehicle on the road must be properly maintained so it can operate efficiently and appropriately. Especially with large vehicles such as cement trucks, regular maintenance is critical to the safe operation of each vehicle. Even a seemingly insignificant problem can cause or contribute to an accident, putting the lives of everyone on the road at risk.
Commercial vehicles must be inspected at least every 12 months. In addition to these mandatory periodic inspections, drivers are expected to prepare a report at the end of each driving day, detailing the condition of the vehicle.
The inspection report must include details on various parts and accessories, such as:
- Steering mechanism
- Tires, wheels, and rims
- Lighting devices
If any defects or deficiencies are found that require immediate attention, these must be corrected before the vehicle is used again.
Judd Shaw Injury Law is Here for You
Coping with the aftereffects of a car accident can easily become overwhelming. With pressure from insurance companies, financial stress, and health concerns on the line, you need someone you can trust to take care of your legal needs. Why not, when there are no out-of-pocket fees?
When you work with our team at Judd Shaw Injury Law, you are given our No Fee Guarantee®. You can also be sure you are working with a team of experienced legal professionals who have your back and will fight for the interests of you and your family – rather than those of the insurance company.
The Judd Shaw Way means that we:
- Battle the insurance bullies
- Strive to deliver the “Wow”
- Demonstrate courtesy, honor, and respect
- Are passionate to make a difference
For years, we have been fighting on behalf of New Jersey accident victims, and we want to help you, too. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and provide a free case review. Contact us at 1-866-909-6894 today to schedule your free consultation.