Large trucks are frequently involved in serious crashes on South Carolina’s roads. Trucks are much heavier than automobiles, particularly when they are fully loaded. When commercial trucks are involved in collisions, they often cause serious injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicles.
If you have been injured in a Fort Mill truck accident, you should understand your legal rights. If a truck driver caused the accident, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries and accident-related expenses from the trucker’s insurance company.
A knowledgeable Fort Mill truck accident lawyer at McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, LLC can review the details of your accident and discuss your legal options. Call us today for a free consultation.
Causes of Truck Accidents in SC
Understanding how truck accidents occur can help drivers in South Carolina avoid a crash. After an accident, it is important to understand what caused the collision. The most common causes of truck accidents in South Carolina include:
- Distracted driving: Texting and driving is recognized as a serious distraction and commercial truck drivers are prohibited from using handheld cell phones while driving. But any activity that takes a truck driver’s focus off the road and the task of driving poses a distraction. A distracted driver may be held accountable for a truck accident caused by distraction.
- Driver fatigue: Truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road and drive for hours at a time. Trucking companies sometimes offer incentives to drivers to get loads to a destination more quickly. Federal law dictates how many hours truck drivers can spend on the road before having to take a required rest break. But truck drivers sometimes disregard hours-of-service limits and continue driving while dangerously fatigued.
- Inexperienced drivers: Trucks are very difficult to operate. Truck drivers must have the experience and knowledge to drive their vehicle in a safe manner. Drivers of commercial tanker trucks are required to have additional training and certification. When a truck driver is not properly trained and causes a crash, the truck driver and the trucking company can be held liable.
- Improperly loaded cargo: Cargo on a truck that is not properly loaded and secured may move around, shifting a truck’s center of gravity and potentially causing a rollover accident.
- Lack of maintenance: Trucks that are not properly maintained may have worn out parts, such as tires or brakes, that can cause a crash. Trucking companies that fail to maintain trucks in safe operating condition may held liable for accidents.
- Speeding: Trucks take much longer to slow down and come to a complete stop. When truck drivers speed, they increase the stopping distance. A speeding trucker may be unable to avoid colliding with a vehicle in front because of the distance required to stop.
- Driving while under the influence: A truck driver who is driving drunk may lose his commercial driver’s license. Truckers are known to take drugs to help them stay awake on the road. Unfortunately, this behavior puts everyone around the truck at risk.
When truck drivers cause accidents, the accident victims should know their rights and whether pursuing a personal injury claim against the truck driver or trucking company is in order. Our attorneys at McKinney, Tucker & Lemel can help you determine the proper steps to take to rebuild your life after a serious truck accident.
SC Truck Accident Statistics
A look at national traffic statistics shows just how common truck accidents are in South Carolina. A person died in a large truck accident every three days in South Carolina in 2019, with a total of 122 deaths. Over a five-year period, a total of 566 people died in large truck accidents in South Carolina.
More than 70 percent of the people killed in truck accidents were occupants of other vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Breaking down the statistics further, the data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows:
- 1,475 total vehicles were involved in fatal truck crashes in South Carolina.
- Large trucks are disproportionately involved in fatal crashes. Large trucks account for 4 percent of registered vehicles and 9 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes.
- Truck accidents are more common on weekdays than weekends.
- Crashes involving trucks were more likely to occur during the day on weekdays rather than at night.
To avoid becoming a statistic, all drivers should understand how to avoid a truck accident in South Carolina.
How to Avoid a SC Truck Accident
Truck accidents are often life-changing, both for victims and their families. To avoid becoming involved in a truck accident, follow the below tips.
- Do not cut in front of trucks: Trucks take longer to slow down and stop completely. If you cut in front of a truck, the driver may not have the adequate space needed to avoid crashing into you.
- Wear a seatbelt: A seat belt may not be able to prevent a crash, but it can help you avoid being seriously injured. If a truck strikes you from behind and you are not buckled up, you could be thrown into the windshield or ejected from the vehicle.
- Avoid blind spots: Tractor trailers have large blind spots on all sides. Never linger in a truck’s blind spots..
- Give trucks the space they need: Trucks need a lot of space on the roads. They make wide right turns and cannot always see drivers around them. Always pay attention to the turn signals on a truck and give them lots of room.
Even when following the above tips, an accident may still happen. When that is the case, it is imperative to know what to do in the days and weeks afterward.
What to Do if You Have Been Injured in a Fort Mill Truck Accident
The most important steps to take after a crash include:
- Determine whether you are injured.
- Call 911 and stay at the scene until police arrive.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if it means calling emergency services to the scene.
- Exchange names and contact information with all parties involved.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, including photos of all damaged property, your injuries, and any other relevant information.
- Call a lawyer that can help you with any future claim you may file.
Just as there are important steps to take after a crash, there are other important actions you should avoid taking.
Never admit fault or speak to the truck driver’s insurance company until you have spoken to a lawyer. Do not sign anything until your lawyer has reviewed it.
Call Our South Carolina Truck Accident Lawyers for Help with Your Claim
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck crash, do not hesitate to call our Fort Mill truck accident lawyers today. At McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, LLC, our experienced attorneys can determine who was liable for your injuries. Our attorneys will help you seek full compensation for your injuries. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.