Georgia Truck Accident Attorney
Georgia Truck Accidents
The state of Georgia is appealing to vacationers for its moderate winters, Southern charm, lush scenery and five-star resorts. The state’s national forests provide hunters and fishermen with revelry of perfect fields, ranges and streams. Atlanta, the state’s capital, hosts classic golf tournaments, country festivals and federal facilities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and remains a hub for many businesses and manufacturers. With its sprawling areas and small towns, rural roads in Georgia populate the state from end to end. Drivers have no problem becoming lost in the scenery, forgetting to pay attention on the road.
In addition to country rambling roads, however, Georgia also boasts an extensive system of interstates and highways which, despite their necessity to provide roads for drivers, contain defects which exacerbate accident frequency. Defective roadways, unfilled and expanding potholes, and lack of general road maintenance lead to problems for drivers such as tire blowouts, falling or sinking debris in portions of the road, and constant repair and detours that annoy and divert those who rely on these roads as their primary routes of transportation. While municipalities are responsible for road maintenance, the state of Georgia is responsible for general highway upkeep. Unfortunately, the magnitude of these problems means that certain roads are not high on the priority list, and the roads continue to destroy themselves—and the vehicles using them. But, poor road maintenance is not the only cause of accidents on Georgia roads. Interstate accidents are also caused by drunk driving, speed, and failure to wear seatbelts on highways in counties such as in DeKalb, Gwinnett, Clayton and Fulton Counties, those counties which have been known in the past to have the highest incidence of fatalities.
Georgia Pickup Truck Accidents
Unique to Georgia and other parts of the country with rambling, rural dirt and primitive roads, pickup trucks are necessary for hauling materials, yet they remain cause for concern—for drivers, passengers and those unsuspecting victims involved in an accident. According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the rural road crash data rate in Georgia is twice that of other urban areas strictly because pickup trucks drivers are those known to often fail in using their seatbelts. Drivers become complacent due to their familiarity of the roads, and use their truck beds for hauling items, passengers and pets who are unprotected by seatbelts or other tethers. Loose materials in the cab such as equipment, toolboxes and fuel tanks become distracting as they rattle around in the bed of the truck, and can cause serious damage if they were to fly out of the vehicle going over a bump, or after hitting another object.
Georgia’s lush landscape and country roads lend themselves too many slow moving vehicles including farm equipment and pickups that haul trailers to carry loads from one point to another, most often prevalent during harvest season. Pickup truck accidents are such a problem in Georgia that the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has implemented a “Buckle Up On Your Truck” safety law to prevent fatalities due to not using seatbelts in pickups, after they determined that pickup truck occupants fail to use seatbelts “at a rate nearly 15-percent less than drivers in other passenger vehicles.”
While lack of seatbelt use is high among those who drive pickup trucks, other accidents like rollovers involving SUVs, tractor-trailers are caused by lack of stability and handling during a turn due to the vehicle’s center of gravity and track width (distance between the left and right side wheels). If the track width is narrow, coupled with a higher center of gravity, a vehicle could tip over during sharp changes in the vehicle’s direction. Manufacturers attempt to be proactive with vehicle design and rollover prevention by installing features that boast protection against accidents.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), pickup trucks also have a tendency toward some of the highest fatality rates in “solo rollover accidents.” The reason for this could be that the drivers feel over-confident in the size, weight and protection bars installed on their trucks, as well as other features that may promote a false sense of security such as:
- higher center of gravity than standard sedans
- rollover bars and roll cages that are meant to protect the entire passenger area
- invincible weight of vehicle
- structure of vehicle
- crush-resistant roofs
- anti-lock brakes
Despite having these items in place, many drivers takes more chances while on the road in rural Georgia where off-roading is part of the norm. The demographic of the average pickup truck purchasers trends toward those who take greater risks on the road and are less likely to wear their seatbelts—the segment populated by younger men. Ironically, because trucks have increased in popularity and are being manufactured with more bells and whistles, trucks tend to account for a larger portion of motor vehicle deaths.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is a valuable source when it comes to crash safety for truck and other vehicles, and it is worth the time to research a vehicle before purchase by paying attention to those trucks that have higher ratings Additionally, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety determines crash worthiness based on various criteria. Crashworthiness means how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash and, as such, rates vehicles as good, acceptable, marginal or poor. They also rate a vehicle’s ability to avoid a crash based on front crash prevent system ratings. For 2014, the following cars received good ratings for their features and ability to withstand crashes (large SUVs): GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, Volkswagen Touareg.
Outside of pickup trucks, there are many in the state of Georgia who earn their income in the trucking industry. In Georgia, truck drivers have laws and regulations to dictate their commercial trucking careers such as mandates for rest periods and drug testing. Rules govern the weight of the load, how the loads are tied, and when they are inspected and serviced. However, truckers have been known to falsify logs books and record keeping since they have to meet strict delivery deadlines—or they will not be paid.
Georgia Pickup Truck and Truck Accident Safety and Prevention
Pickup trucks, tractor-trailers and semi-trucks populate the highways of Georgia. It remains important to keep in mind defensive driving techniques that will keep you safe. Here are a few reminders:
- Trucks, tractor-trailers and pickup truck often have blind spots. Just because you see the truck does not mean the driver of the truck will see you.
- Pass safely and with enough room, which means not too fast—or too close.
- Never take chances when it comes to passing big vehicles or those hauling trailers.
- Be especially cautious if you notice the rear lights of the trailer are not working; you could be in for a sudden surprise.
- Rural Georgia roads do not leave much room for passing. Be particularly careful when there is a lack of space.
- Dense foliage cause problems for those on the roads in Georgia; be careful when in an environment where your visibility can be heavily reduced.
- Be cautious of trucks who have loads that are not tied; materials from the load could fall out of the truck into your path.
- Pay particular attention if there are children, other passengers or pets in the flatbeds of trucks. Any number of factors could cause these items—and people—to fall out.
Legal Help for Georgia Pickup Truck and Truck Accident Victims
If you are traveling in Georgia, or boast residency in this, one of the country’s most beautiful states, you know that vehicles of all shapes, sizes and speed will populate roads, highways and rural areas. It is always best to drive defensively, and plan your route before you begin your journey.
If you or a loved one has been injured or died in a Georgia pickup truck or truck accident, dealing with other parties can be challenging at best; the emotional, physical and financial toll can be devastating. New York law firm Finz & Finz, P.C., a firm who holds the record settlement for a truck-trailer case in the history of New York State, is experienced in helping you when you are involved in a truck or truck-related accident. Contact Finz & Finz, P.C., now, toll free at (855) TOP FIRM or fill out the Free Georgia Pickup Truck and Truck Accident Case Evaluation Form to start the process.