What You Need to Know About Las Vegas Truck Accident Safety
In 2010 Clark County had the highest percentage of traffic accidents statewide at 78.89% (Nevada DOT). Although only 1.5% of these accidents involved large trucks (Nevada DOT), that’s more than enough to be a point of concern. For example, an accident involving a tractor trailer on June 25, 2018, near the intersection of Nellis Boulevard and Washington Avenue, resulted in one fatality and two cases of life-threatening injuries. A pickup truck ran a red light and hit a tractor trailer, which then overturned and crushed a car, killing the car’s driver (LasVegasNOW.com). It’s a good idea, then, to know some basic Las Vegas truck accident safety measures and, if the worst happens, which Vegas personal injury attorney to call.
Important Facts About Vegas Truck Accidents
Accidents involving large trucks often result in severe injury to car drivers or cyclists because of the size and weight of the trucks. Big rigs (semi trucks, tractor trailers) weigh in the neighborhood of 80,000 pounds (40 tons) fully loaded and even 32,000 pounds (16 tons) empty. The average weight of a car today is just short of 3,000 pounds, a little less than 1.5 tons. In addition, many truck drivers are fatigued. According to some studies, 20% of semi drivers admitted to falling asleep at the wheel during the previous 30 days.
Cars – As mentioned, large trucks can weigh 20 to 30 times more than cars, and their stopping distance is about 20% to 40% greater. That, coupled with driver fatigue and blind spots, can be bad news for car drivers. The ultimate result is that most deaths in truck accidents are occupants of passenger vehicles.
Motorcycles and Bicycles – Motorcycle riders and bicyclists are even more vulnerable in accidents with large trucks. The most common injuries in these accidents are severe head injuries, including brain injury. Next are broken bones, with broken legs being the most common.
Why and Where Truck Accidents Are More Likely to Happen in Vegas
Las Vegas is a bustling night-time entertainment center with heavier traffic for longer hours than other cities. That includes more trucks making more deliveries at all hours, sharing Vegas roads with innumerable cars as well as motorcycles and bicycles. It’s a road and traffic situation ripe for accidents.
The chief concern, though, is I-15, the main artery of the West. This road carries uncounted delivery trucks and tractor trailers delivering goods to Las Vegas and on to southern California every day. Many of these drivers, not a few of whom are battling fatigue, travel this route daily or weekly, which leads to inattention and negligence owing to familiarity. Simply put, it’s often a recipe for accidents.
Knowing About and Avoiding the Different Types of Vegas Truck Accidents
The first step toward avoiding truck accidents involves an awareness of the different types in order to be able to take measures to avoid them. The most common types of truck accidents include:
- Blind Spot – The size of trucks and trailers makes for more and larger blind spots than with a car. Often, then, truck drivers are simply unable to see motorcycles and bicycles.
- Rear-end – With a truck’s heavy weight and long stopping distance, other driver’s following trucks often fail to stop in time.
- Underride – One of the most dangerous (and often fatal), this occurs when a smaller vehicle rear ends a truck and continues to move under the trailer.
- Lost Load – This happens when a portion of a load, usually on a flat-bed trailer, isn’t secured properly and flies off into traffic.
- Jack Knife – Often occurring in the middle of fast moving freeway traffic, this accident happens when axle brakes lock up and the truck driver loses control.
General Tips to Avoid Truck Accidents in Las Vegas
The safety tips for avoiding accidents with trucks flow naturally out of the causes and types of truck accidents in Vegas. The main points to keep in mind while sharing the road with big trucks include:
- Remember the size/weight and stopping distance. Don’t follow too close, and give trucks plenty of room for maneuvering – changing lanes, turning, and the like.
- Stay out of the blind spots. Don’t drive (or ride) directly in front of, behind, or on either side to the rear. Make sure the truck driver is able to see you at all times.
- Don’t pass a turning truck, especially on the right. Trucks have to make wide turns, and a truck turning right may even move into the left lane in order to have enough turning radius to make a right turn.
- Exercise caution and keep your distance under adverse conditions. Large trucks and their many large tires through up a lot of water, snow, and/or mud when weather conditions aren’t the best, which reduces visibility and poses a significant risk.
- Watch out for disintegrating truck tires. Truck tires are notorious for throwing off large chunks of tread with the cord still in it.
Las Vegas Truck Accident Lawyers With Inside Knowledge
But when the worst happens, consider a Las Vegas truck accident attorney who not only understands these cases, but also has inside knowledge about how insurance companies operate. Ramzy Ladah used to worked for the big insurance companies that back trucking companies. So, whether you’ve been in a tire blowout accident, a loose cargo accident, or a blind spot accident, contact Ladah Law.