While there are many large commercial trucks on the road, dump trucks pose a unique threat to other drivers due to their excessive weight and size. The type of cargo transported by dump trucks also has a lot to do with the serious nature of the accidents with which they are involved. Many times, these trucks are used to transport construction waste from the numerous sites across Kentucky. This means that they may be loaded up with loose debris, including partially demolished concrete, gravel, materials removed from the earth as part of the construction process, and other heavy debris that can spill onto the road or lead to a dangerous tipping accident, along with other dangers.
Most of the dump trucks on the road are designed and manufactured with an open box design that has a hydraulic hinge at the rear of the box. This type of construction permits the truck to raise the box and empty the contents behind the truck. Although this design feature serves an important purpose, it can lead to dangerous accidents, especially if the truck is rear-ended. In addition to the risk of some or all of the contents of the truck being dumped onto the impacting vehicle, there also is the high risk of an underride accident because of the raised platform of the truck that permits it to empty the box.
There are many different types of accidents involving dump trucks, but two of the most common are:
- Back-up accidents – the size of the dump truck means that the driver is going to have limited visibility behind the truck. When the dump truck is backing up, there is a high probability of a serious accident if the driver does not exercise caution in confirming that he has a clear path; and
- Tipping accidents – these trucks are designed to transport extremely heavy loads, but this does not mean that they are immune from weight imbalances and higher centers of gravity that result in the vehicle tipping over. If there are issues with the tires, particularly excessive wear, the imbalance problem can be compounded if there is a tire blowout.
Other causes of dump truck accidents include:
- Poor weather conditions;
- Improper lane changes and swerving into oncoming traffic;
- Failing to brake in time to stop the vehicle before a collision; and
- Work zone collisions – in an active construction site, there are many vehicles entering and exiting the roads, which could lead to crashes.
According to statistics analyzed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), collisions between single-unit commercial vehicles, which includes dump trucks, and other vehicles lead to approximately 1,000 fatalities a year and as many as 35,000 injuries.
There are many different individuals and businesses who may share in the liability of the dump truck accident, including:
- The dump truck driver;
- The individual and trucking company that owns the truck;
- The manufacturer of the dump truck;
- The maintenance company or individual who oversees the maintenance work on the truck; and
- Any other person with control over the truck in any manner.
It is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after being in an accident with a dump truck because evidence starts to disappear quickly, especially if there are multiple parties involved in the operation of the truck.
Murphy and Associates, PLC Builds Powerful Cases for Those Injured in a Truck Crash
The total size and weight of a dump truck, even without a full load, means that there likely will be injuries if there is an accident with another vehicle. If you were the person involved in such an accident, or a loved one was hurt or killed, the experienced Kentucky Truck Accident Attorneys at Murphy & Associates, PLC have the skill and commitment to get the damages award or settlement that you need to pay ongoing medical bills, replace lost wages, and compensate for the extensive pain and suffering. Call us at (502) 473-6464 to schedule a time when we can meet with you and learn the facts of your case. We only get paid if we recover compensation for you.