If you have lived in Upstate South Carolina for much time at all, you have probably been stuck on a major road like Interstate 85 because of a serious truck accident. Truck accidents are different than a regular car accident as a general rule. This is for a number of reasons, including the different rules under which truck drivers operate, as well as the many differences between passenger vehicles and commercial trucks. If you are injured in a truck accident, how you go about recovering damages is often different as well.
What Is Different About Truck Accidents?
First and foremost, truck accidents are different because of the equipment involved. A loaded tractor and trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, or even more if it is an oversized load. An average passenger vehicle weighs less than 4,000 pounds. Unfortunately, an 80,000 pound object travelling at highway speeds can cause a terrifying amount of destruction. Even the most well-built passenger vehicle affords little in the way of protection when it is matched up to this kind of force. The next major difference is the maintenance and safety upkeep that is mandated to keep a big rig on the road. Tractor and trailers must be routinely inspected and well-maintained to be legal on the roads. While your car must be safe as well, the difference in both the level of detail and the frequency of maintenance is substantial. Finally, the other major difference is in the requirements to drive a big rig. You must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), among other things, to be behind the wheel of one of these monsters.
Going back to the difference between the average commuter and a truck driver, the requirements to drive a truck deserve a little attention. A CDL is not even remotely the same as the regular driver’s license with which most of us are familiar.
A CDL driver must meet a number of requirements to ensure that they are safe on the road while behind the wheel. They must pass a DOT physical and prove that they have the ability to drive properly. This is a federal requirement.
On top of this, there are a number of federal requirements governing how truckers can work. There are rules governing the number of hours they may drive, the hours of rest they must have to be on the road and more.
All of this is important when it comes to truck accidents. Why? Primarily because these requirements were created to ensure the safety of big trucks on the road, as well as the safety of everyone else. When these rules are violated, unsafe conditions can be created and wrecks often ensue. It must be noted, however, that just because a trucker has driven 30 minutes longer than allowed by the law, it doesn’t necessarily follow that an accident was caused by the behavior that violates the law. However, it certainly can be a consideration.
Truck accidents often cause a great deal of harm. Lives are often changed forever because of the damage a truck accident can create. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you need to be represented by a lawyer with experience in this type of injury case. A lawyer with this type of experience knows the rules and regulations that govern the trucking industry and how to utilize this kind of information to help prove a case. Dan Pruitt has been representing truck accident victims in Upstate South Carolina for over 20 years. He has the requisite skill, knowledge and experience to provide victims with the best possible representation. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, give him a call today at (864) 232-4273 to schedule your free initial consultation. Let him review the circumstances around your case and map out the best way to get you the results you deserve.