With the explosion of e-commerce websites where you can buy anything and have it delivered to your home in a matter of days—or even hours in some cases—our roads are more clogged than ever with commercial traffic. Delivery trucks are flooding the streets, carrying business and consumer goods all over Texas. The rush for drivers to deliver under tight deadlines to keep customers happy can lead to careless or negligent behavior, causing severe accidents.
Common Causes of Delivery Truck Accidents
Delivery van crashes have become more common with the growing demand for new delivery truck drivers to get the job done fast. Is this inevitable? Of course not! Commercial drivers still have the same obligation as ever to take care nobody is hurt because of their actions. But the combination of inexperience and pressure to deliver quickly encourages negligence behind the wheel.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that can lead a delivery truck driver into an accident:
- Sudden stops. Delivery trucks often move fast and come to sudden halts, even on busy streets. This can create havoc on traffic and lead to rear-end accidents.
- Overloaded cargo. When a truck has been filled beyond safe capacity with too much cargo, it can unbalance the entire vehicle, causing rollover accidents.
- Poorly secured cargo. If goods and packages aren’t well-secured inside the truck, loose cargo can cause a weight shift, which can also lead to rollover accidents. Loose cargo may also be prone to falling out of the vehicle while at speed, causing traffic accidents.
- Blocking visibility. Delivery trucks often stop in locations that make travel unsafe for others by reducing visibility and dangerously constricting the flow of traffic.
- Distracted driving. This is one of the biggest causes of accidents for any type of vehicle, but delivery drivers are especially prone to distracted driving if they’re paying too much attention to a map or GPS unit, calls from radio or telephone dispatch, or even texting with their cellphones.
Poor maintenance is also a factor in delivery accidents. If a delivery vehicle truck isn’t maintained in safe working order, breakdowns or tire blowouts can cause severe accidents and tremendous economic damage if goods are lost or damaged.
Who Is Responsible After a Delivery Truck Accident?
When a delivery truck is involved in an accident, there are multiple parties that may be held liable as a result, including the driver of the vehicle. Other responsible parties may include:
- The delivery company. Any company is usually responsible for the behavior of its employees performing activities within the scope of their employment, but if an employee’s behavior falls outside of that scope, the company may not be liable. However, if the company failed to properly screen an employee for drug or alcohol-related issues such as past DUIs, or did not train the driver correctly, then the company may be held partially responsible for the accident, too.
- Vehicle maintenance crew. If the mechanics responsible for fleet maintenance didn’t do their jobs right and failed to correctly repair or replace a faulty part—such as brake lines, lights, or safety reflectors—they may be found partially liable for an accident that happens as a result.
- Vehicle manufacturers. If a delivery truck accident happened as a result of faulty manufacturing, even the maker of the vehicle may be found to be responsible for the crash.
Other vehicles involved in the accident may share a portion of the liability, too. That’s why it’s important to speak to a personal injury attorney with experience in handling commercial truck accidents as soon as possible after an accident. A qualified attorney can help you decide what party or parties may have played a part in causing your accident, and who may owe you fair compensation for your vehicle repair or replacement, medical bills, and more.
Get Help After Your Accident
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a delivery truck in Texas, delays in talking to an attorney could be costing you money. Wayne Wright LLP has experienced attorneys who understand the complicated nature of accidents with commercial trucks, and can help you seek the money that you may be owed. For a free, no-obligations evaluation of your legal situation, call us today.