Distracted Driver Accidents

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Truck Accidents vs. Car Accidents: Is There Really A Difference?


Since car and truck accidents both involve motor vehicle damage, people involved, and the rules of the road, they are very similar in many ways, although they have distinctive differences. The way the accident happens, the severity of the accident, and the way liability is assigned are all ways the accidents’ resolutions vary between cars and trucks. It’s important to note that car accidents are typically instigated by human error, while truck accidents occur most often due to the sheer size of the vehicle.

Types of Car Accidents 

Typically, most vehicle crashes are described in a blanket term as a car accident. Yet, no two car accidents are the same, and each is unique in its own way in terms of damages, liability, injuries, causation, among other factors. However, in the eyes of the law, there are number of different types of car accidents which include:

Head-On Collisions: Often considered to be the most common type of automobile accident by the NHSTA , a head-on collision involved two cars crashing into each other with no barrier in-between. This is typically seen when a driver turns onto a street and runs into another car driving in the opposite direction. At high speeds, these types of accidents can be particularly devastating to both the vehicles and their passengers. 

Rear-End Accidents: A rear-end collision is exactly what it sounds like, and occurs when a driver crashes into the back end of another vehicle. This can happen when both cars are in motion, or if the car in front is stopped. Liability for these accidents is usually always placed on the driver that hit the rear-end of the other car, but it never hurts to have a car accident lawyer like those at Dan Davis Law take a look at your case.

Rollovers: Unfortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of rollover car accidents in the United States each year. To be considered a rollover crash, at least one car in the accident has to be displaced upside down or had all four wheels leave the pavement. As one can imagine, these accidents tend to take place at high speeds and can result in serious injury, and sometimes death.

Side-Impact: Also referred to as a “T-bone” accident, a side-impact collision is most common at intersections or any point where cars going in different directions converge. They typically happen when one driver is distracted or ignores traffic signals and laws, leading them to crash into the side of an unsuspecting vehicle that is following the rules of the road. These accidents are notorious for being especially harmful because either the driver or the passengers of the struck car are hit by the full force of the other vehicle. 

Types Of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can occur for the same reasons that car accidents can, such as running a red light or colliding with an oncoming vehicle. But truck accidents can also cause damage that car crashes can’t. The biggest culprit of damage is merely the vehicle size: Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, compared to the 4,000 pounds of a standard passenger vehicle. Truck accident lawyers at Salango Law mention that this weight differential contributes to the severity of injuries suffered in a truck accident. Here are some types of truck accidents that are unique to a truck’s involvement:

Rollover crashes: These have to do with the truck tipping or rolling over. This can happen when a turn is taken too quickly or the truck driver loses control of the vehicle.

Cargo spill accidents: If cargo isn’t stored correctly, it can fall out of the truck. This can be the cause of damage to multiple vehicles, the drivers, and the road itself.

Underride wrecks: Underride wrecks can happen with a truck big enough, and a car small enough. A truck can actually drive over a vehicle, resulting in typically fatal repercussions. 

Laws that Apply to Truck Accidents Only

Unsurprisingly, there are a number of laws that professional truck drivers have to follow that don’t necessarily apply to all other drivers on the road. This is because the drivers represent a company and due to the size and weight of their vehicle, have a different level of responsibility and liability on the road. Some of the protocols and regulations that truck drivers are subjected to include:

Lower Legal Blood Alcohol Concentrations (BAC):Although the legal BAC limit for all drivers over the age of 21 on the road is a 0.08, that does not apply to commercial truck drivers. Instead, as described by the FMCSA, they aren’t supposed to be behind the wheel with a BAC exceeding 0.04.

Hours of Service Regulations: While there isn’t a law that prevents citizens from driving a certain number of hours per day, there are such laws in place for commercial truck drivers. These laws prohibit commercial drivers from driving more than 11 hours in a single day, remaining on duty for more than 14 hours in one day, or driving without at least 10 consecutive hours of off-duty rest time. Of course, this is to try and minimize any fatigue-related accidents, in hopes that the drivers remain refreshed, alert, and prepared for anything. 

Record-Keeping Rules: To try and keep truck drivers honest and reliable, there are some regulations that require truck drivers and trucking companies to keep logs of driver qualifications, drug and alcohol screenings, truck maintenance records, and hours-of-service compliance. This holds both the driver and the company responsible for the actions of the driver, and as something that insurance companies and lawyers can refer back to in the event of an accident. 

Do Trucks or Cars Get in More Accidents?

Car accidents occur on average 6 million times a year. This is a staggering and ever-increasing number. The influence of cell phones, driving under the influence, bad weather and other driving distractions contribute to the case growth with each year. 

Truck accidents occur 500,000 times per year. Although significantly less than cars, don’t let this convince you they are less dangerous. Large trucks are involved in fewer accidents simply because there are less of them. But the statistics demonstrate their impact nonetheless. Commercial trucks account for 287,000 insurance property damage claims, more than 77,000 injuries, and more than 4,300 deaths every year. 

Our advice is to remain a defensive driver no matter what. Minimize driving distractions, put your phone on silent, do what it takes to avoid the devastation of both car and truck accidents. 


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