10 Terms Used to Describe Truck Accidents, from a Truck Accident Attorney
Written by Cooper & Friedman on July 27, 2016
Truck accidents can be very serious like the one that severely injured comedian Tracey Morgan and killed his friend and colleague James McNair (also known as Jimmy Mack). And the majority of deaths that happen due to truck accidents involve people traveling in passenger cars and other vehicles. If you’re ever the victim of a truck accident, contact an experienced truck accident attorney like those at the Cooper and Friedman law firm, for legal help.
The Dangers of Truck Accidents
Trucks can weigh upwards of 30 times more than a typical car, which causes them to stop more slowly while heightening the risk of damages during a collision. In fact, according to data published by the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2014 there were 3,978 large trucks and buses involved in fatal accidents.
When describing truck accidents, safety officials, media professionals, truck accident attorneys, and others, often use terminology which may be unfamiliar to some. Many of these terms are used to describe the possible cause of the truck accident, the outcome of the truck accident, or the positioning of the vehicles involved in the crash.
Because any driver can become involved in a large truck accident while on the roadways, it is important to understand how these types of accidents occur. Follow along as a truck accident attorney provides an overview of 10 common terms used when talking about truck accidents.
10 Terms Used to Describe Truck Accidents
- Jackknife: Jackknifing is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. This happens when the truck trailer is placed at a sharp, 90-degree angle. Most commonly, this happens when a truck is going over a slippery area and its wheels lock.
- Allowable Payload: This term refers to the weight of the truck. It’s the maximum amount of load a truck can carry. This may be based on various factors including a specified legal limit, a particular rating, a component like the trucks axle capacity, and/or the design of the vehicle.
- DWI: Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is illegal. And those with a commercial driving license are accountable to a higher standard than other drivers. If the driver’s blood-alcohol level is above the state’s guidelines, the driver is charged with a DUI, or driving under the influence. Most states in the U.S. have adopted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations for alcohol and commercial drivers. This is a limit of 0.04 percent blood-alcohol.
- Ejection: When a truck rolls due to an accident or road conditions, the driver may be fully or partially thrown from the vehicle — this is called ejection.
- Hazmat: This term stands for hazardous materials. And it is regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Truck drivers carrying hazardous materials pose an additional danger to those on the roadways. This is because of the heightened risks in the event of an accident.
- Hit and Run: This term is used to describe the event in which any driver leaves the scene of an accident before the authorities arrive.
- Dead-Heading: While this term may be unfamiliar to some, it is used to describe a truck that is not carrying a full load. If a tanker is not full, this creates an uneven distribution of weight and may cause an accident.
- Road Surface Condition: This term describes the roadway conditions at the time of an accident. The roads may be icy, dry, wet, slippery, etc. causes the driver to lose control of his or her vehicle.
- Logbook: The U.S. Department of Transportation mandates that all truck drivers maintain a proper record of their driving hours during a 24-hour period. All of this information is kept in a logbook.
- Hours Driving: This is the actual amount of hours that have elapsed from the time the truck driver began operating the vehicle, until the time of the truck accident. This is helpful when determining the cause of the accident and assigning fault. Driving while fatigued is one of the common reasons cited for truck accidents.
All of the terminology detailed above can be very important when understanding and describing truck accidents. Because of the potential damages involved in truck accidents, it is essential to get good legal help from experienced truck accident attorneys if you are ever the victim of one.
With over 45 combined years of experience serving people in Kentucky and Indiana, a truck accident attorney at the Cooper & Friedman law firm is here to help you and your loved ones if you have been injured in a truck accident.
Our truck accident attorneys offer free case consultations for truck accident victims in Kentucky and Indiana. And we do not charge any fees unless we recover damages. For more information, or to talk with a truck accident lawyer now about your case, call 502-459-7555 today.