Second only to State Route 3, State Route 9 is one of the longest state highways in Oklahoma. Sadly, it is also one of the deadliest. Between 2010 and 2016, there were 50 fatal crashes that occurred on State Route 9, resulting in the deaths of 60 people. The majority of those accidents, sadly, occurred in Cleveland County, according to FreightWaves.
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that in 2019, there were 5,005 large trucks that were involved in a fatal crash. Traffic accidents are dangerous regardless of the types of vehicles involved in the crash. Driving instructors are not joking when they state that colliding with another vehicle is similar to colliding with a thousand-pound weapon. Truck accidents, on the other hand, are capable of producing more fatal and deadly results for other motorists.
Speeding can lead to horrific fatal crashes in and near OKC
Just like other motorists, truck drivers are guilty of speeding on the roads. The reason for truckers speeding may be to race against the clock and meet the deadlines for dropping off cargo. Whatever the reason, deadly results can occur when a trucker decides to speed and loses control of the truck.
Unlike people who drive passenger vehicles, truck drivers need ample amount of time to brake properly and stop the truck in a safe manner. When a truck driver is speeding, the possibility of braking and stopping the truck in an adequate time is made more difficult. One of the accidents that is produced from speeding is a rollover.
Rollover crashes involving trucks can be devastating
A rollover is a type of Oklahoma City truck accident where the vehicle tips over either on the side or on top. This is one of the most fatal traffic accidents with little to no survival for the driver. Unfortunately, rollover accidents that involve trucks are much more common than rollover accidents involving cars. The height of the truck alone makes the truck susceptible to rollover; however, truckers’ actions such as speeding can cause a rollover accident to happen. When a truck driver is driving too quickly for the conditions of the road – icy conditions, for example – the driver is putting himself or herself at risk of rolling over.
What leads to distracted driving by truckers?
Distracted driving is a problem that most motorists can suffer from. It involves any activity that divides the driver’s attention and takes it fully away from the road. Cell phone usage while driving is a common example of distracted driving. For truckers, the need to distract themselves is greater as a result of the longer hours spent on the roads. This can lead to a fatal accident if the trucker fails to adequately brake in time. One of the accidents that can be caused by a trucker failing to adequately brake in time is a jackknife accident.
Jackknifed trucks cause serious injuries and massive backups
A jackknife accident is an accident that occurs when a tractor truck swings around perpendicular to the trailer. Trucks need an additional time and space to brake properly; when they fail to do so, this type of accident happens. Jackknife accidents can cause severe damage not only to the trucker but to the motorists around the truck. Physical injuries ranging from paralysis, brain trauma, internal bleeding, and fractured skulls are the dangerous results of jackknife accidents.
Driver fatigue is deadly for truck drivers and other motorists
Driver fatigue occurs as a result of the long, extended hours that truck drivers spend on the road. Depending on the type of jobs that truckers accept, truckers are driving long hours on the road with little to no rest breaks in between. As a result, truck drivers experience a loss of concentration and coordination. When truck drivers are not concentrating on the road, it makes it more difficult for them to stop in an adequate amount of time or react to other situations on the road. Not to mention, the need to fall asleep behind the wheel is powerful. For motorists who are around a truck driver who suffers from driver fatigue, many fatal accidents are liable to happen due to the truck driver’s negligence. One such accident is the underride accident.
Why are underride accidents so dangerous?
An underride crash is a type of traffic accident where a regular-sized car wedges itself either partially or completely under a truck after the car fails to stop in time if the truck stops. Because of the truck’s greater height, most of the damage and impact will be taken to the smaller vehicle. These types of accidents are frequently fatal, with drivers and passengers of vehicles suffering from head injuries, broken bones, and instant death. Some trucks are equipped with underride guards, but those guards may not cover the sides of the truck.
Tire blowouts are dangerous for all motorists
Poor truck maintenance can cause several dangers for truckers and motorists, including tire blowout. If the tread on tires has been worn and the tires have failed to be replaced, it is highly likely that the tires will blow out. Tire blowout can cause a truck to steer off into another lane, striking other cars in the process. Truck drivers can also lose control of the truck as a result of tire blowout, leading to the potential for more catastrophic injuries to occur.
Blind spots make it difficult for truck drivers to see you
As anyone who operates a vehicle knows, trucks have larger blind spots due to their size and weight. As a result, truck drivers have a difficult time noticing every motorist who passes them or is driving next to them. Although motorists are advised to pass truck drivers with precaution, there may be times where the motorist tries to speed to pass the truck driver, or the truck driver fails to notice the motorist in their side and rear-view mirrors.
If a truck driver tries to switch lanes while a motorist is occupying a lane, the motorist will take most of the impact and suffer severe injuries. Traumatic brain injury, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and even death can occur when truck drivers fail to check their blind spots and proceed to switch lanes.
Unfortunately, due to the size and weight of large trucks, Oklahoma City truck accidents often cause significant damages, including serious injuries and temporary or permanent disabilities. At Cunningham & Mears, we work hard to get you full and fair compensation for all your injuries and harm. To learn more about our truck accident representation, contact us or call (405) 232-1212, or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation.
Ryan Y. Cunningham is a founding partner of Cunningham & Mears. Mr. Cunningham devotes his practice to protecting the rights of injured Oklahoma residents. In addition to assisting injured clients, Mr. Cunningham endeavors to improve personal injury representation by speaking on issues related to personal injury law to attorneys in continuing legal education courses and to law students. Learn More