Any pedestrian accident can cause someone to suffer serious injuries. However, there's a much greater risk a pedestrian will experience catastrophic or even deadly harm if he's hit by an operator of a delivery van, bus, or semi.
There are many reasons for large truck accidents, but only one solution to secure proper injury compensation. You'll need the legal guidance of a skilled truck accident attorney to determine the cause of the incident, who's primarily at fault, and help you and your family get a financial recovery to take care of your needs.
Top Reasons for Truck Accidents With Pedestrians
Truck drivers not only owe a duty of care to others on the road, but also must follow strict federal guidelines regarding vehicle maintenance, hours behind the wheel, and other safety factors. Any breach in responsibility by the operator or the company that employs him is often considered the basis of a claim and the cause of the incident. Here are some of the major catalysts for truck and pedestrian collisions.
Failing to Fix Non-Working Headlights
Under mandates by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) governing the trucking industry, truckers are required to conduct a pre- and post-trip inspection of their headlights and other components of the vehicle to assure they're in working order. Trucking companies have their own duties to inspect and maintain their fleets regularly.
Unfortunately, operators and their employers sometimes ignore defective or broken headlights and allow vehicles on the road anyway so scheduled loads can be delivered. This puts pedestrians walking along the roadside or crossing the street in danger if truckers can't see them.
Engaging in Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is never safe. It's especially dangerous for a truck driver to talk on phone, texting, looking at a GPS, or eating and drinking while behind the wheel of a multi-ton vehicle. Distractions like these increase the possibility of truck over-correction or just sheer negligence to avoid a collision before it's too late.
Driving When Intoxicated
Driving a truck when intoxicated due to alcohol or drug use is a disaster in the making. An operator's vision, ability to gauge distances, reaction time, and judgment are all impaired. Under the FMCSA rules, a trucker is considered driving under the influence if his blood alcohol content is 0.04 percent—half the limit as for passenger vehicle motorists.
Driving When Drowsy
Driving while fatigued can reduce a truck driver’s driving abilities in the same ways as if he were intoxicated. The FMCSA hours of service regulations limit the number of hours truckers can drive without a break to combat this problem, but they often violate the rules to reach their destinations sooner. When someone is fighting to stay awake or worse, nods off, he might not see a pedestrian or not respond quickly enough to avoid hitting him.
Driving Above the Speed Limit
The likelihood of a pedestrian suffering life-altering or fatal injuries increases dramatically due to the greater force of impact if the trucker is traveling faster than the posted speed limit.
Not Driving for Weather Conditions
Operators must adjust speed and driving patterns when snow, ice, heavy rain, or fog create treacherous traveling conditions. Rounding curves too quickly on slick roads or slamming on the brakes might prompt truck brakes to lock up, cause the vehicle to jackknife, or even result in a rollover accident.
Failing to Yield
One of the most basic duties truckers owe pedestrians is to yield to them when they have the right of way. Many tragic accidents occur when walkers are legally traveling in a crosswalk, or at an intersection or stop sign, and the operator fails to stop for them.
Injuries Pedestrians Suffer When Struck by a Truck
Pedestrians involved in a large truck accident might have their lives forever changed. They can need long-term medical treatments for injuries and be off work for extended periods of time—or become permanently disabled. Here are some common injuries caused in these accidents:
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Broken, fractured, and crushed bones
- Pelvic and hip fractures
- Traumatic brain injury and other brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage and total or partial paralysis
Help for You in the Kansas City Metro
If you were injured in a large truck accident, you need to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online, or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.