Charleston, South Carolina has plenty to offer its residents—beaches, history, colleges, and great food. All of which is supported in a large part by the Port of Charleston. The Port, one of the largest on the East Coast, creates jobs for local residents from Jedburg to Sullivan’s Island. But, it also adds traffic and trucks to the highways through Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley Counties. Drivers must be careful of these tractor trailers while driving on the busy I-26 and I-526 corridors, not to mention the larger routes in and out of town like route 17 and route 52.
Truck drivers go through special training, but horrific, and sometimes fatal accidents still happen.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) the top three causes of motor vehicle accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks and other big rigs are:
1. The 18- Wheeler switches lanes or swerves off of the road (32%)
2. The 18-wheeler truck driver loses control of the truck (29%), often due to
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- A shift in the distribution of cargo
- General vehicle systems failure
- Poor road conditions
- Falling asleep or fatigue
- Rear-end collision with the back of another vehicle in the truck’s travel lane (22%).
When a tractor trailer causes a crash due to one of the above causes, the trucker is at fault for the crash nearly 87 percent of the time. In fact, only ten percent (10%) of the accidents are directly caused by mechanical issues with the truck and three percent (3%) by the environment.
Negligent errors by truck drivers normally fall into four categories:
1. Truck Driver fell asleep or was otherwise physically impaired;
2. The driver was inattentive, distracted, or otherwise failed to observe the situation;
3. The 18-wheeler driver was traveling too fast for conditions, misjudged the speed of traffic, or was following the vehicle in front of him too closely;
4. The truck driver panicked, overcompensated, or otherwise failed to control his big rig.
18-wheelers can cause catastrophic injuries and even death to motorists involved in an accident with a big rig. Truckers work for large employers, so when a big-rig driver causes a crash, it is his or her employer, the corporation they work for and the trucking company’s insurance company that is responsible for the damages caused by the crash. That is why you need to be sure that if you are involved in an accident with a semi-trailer you get proper representation the form of an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how truck accidents affect people living in and driving throughout Charleston and the surrounding areas of the lowcountry.