You know to give all large trucks a wide berth when you see them on the highway. Semis are a common sight during your morning commute on I-70, and you’ve heard plenty of horror stories about drivers who take risks despite hauling thousands of pounds of cargo.
But what if that cargo is a load of wet cement? Many of the same risks involving commercial trucks also apply to heavy machinery, yet drivers often consider construction vehicles “safer” to ride beside on the road.
What Are the Major Causes of Concrete Truck Accidents?
The truth is that, in most cases, cement mixers are just as dangerous as large trucks when it comes to causing serious truck accidents. A collision with a cement truck is often fatal, as heavier vehicles are likelier to cause smaller cars to roll over in a collision—and the weight difference often means the smaller car will be crushed in the impact.
Drivers of smaller cars are especially likely to suffer a truck accident due to the cement mixer’s:
- Driver. Cement mixer operators are liable to make the same mistakes as regular drivers, but their larger vehicles are more likely to cause an accident when they do. Driving drowsy, talking on the phone, or texting behind the wheel are extra dangerous when operating heavy equipment because the truck is almost impossible to stop quickly, turning a fender-bender into a potentially fatal crash.
- Weight. Cement trucks can weigh over 25,000 lbs, but that’s just when they are empty. Mixers can haul an additional 25,000 pounds of wet concrete, making them some of the heaviest equipment on the road. Increased weight affects the vehicle’s handling and triples or even quadruples its stopping distance, making it more likely they will collide with objects in the road.
- Stress. As you can imagine, the weight of a truck puts a significant amount of stress on its tires, axles, and mechanical components. The sheer pressure of the load can cause significant wear and tear on the truck’s equipment. Drivers have a responsibility to inspect the vehicles regularly to make sure the tires are in good condition and all components are working properly before getting on the road.
- Speed. If a cement mixer is turning while in traffic, cars around it should be extra cautious. Concrete has a very small window from the time it is mixed to when it begins to harden. Since it must be poured as soon as possible after mixing, truck drivers may speed, weave in and out of lanes, or drive more aggressively in order to make it to the building site on time.
Who Could Be at Fault for Causing a Truck Accident With a Cement Mixer?
While many people assume that the cement truck operator is at fault for a crash with a smaller car, the truth is then there may be a number of parties who are liable for the accident. If the truck was not functioning properly at the time of the crash, the company that built or performed maintenance on the vehicle could be held responsible. If the owner of the mixer kept a worn-out vehicle in regular rotation despite knowing it was faulty, he may also share liability. Finally, if the cement mixer was left on a construction site or was driven by an untrained driver, the construction company may be responsible for causing your injuries.
Want to know who you should name in your accident case? Contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.