Whether you live, work, or vacation in Myrtle Beach, you have things to do. Unfortunately, you have to share the road with trucks, and one mistake could result in a devastating truck accident that changes your plans for a long time.
Our Myrtle Beach truck accident lawyers don't want you to deal with the medical bills, lost income, pain, suffering, and other damages that follow a truck accident alone. Here, we explain the types of trucks that commonly travel in Myrtle Beach, the kinds of truck accidents common in Horry County, and the severe injuries many truck accident victims suffer so that you have the information you need to stay safe, pursue a truck accident case, if necessary, and recover compensation.
Types of Commercial Trucks on the Road
There are several types of trucks on the road that perform specific tasks. Below are some of the most common large trucks and their potential dangers.
Tractor Trailer Trucks
These trucks are the largest of commercial vehicles. Tractor-trailer trucks carry different types of cargo and are commonly referred to as "18-wheelers," "semi-trucks," or "big rigs." These types of trucks are usually the most dangerous of commercial trucks because of their size, major blind spots, and a high center of gravity that often causes rollovers. Semi-truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, significant medical bills, lost time from work, and emotional suffering.
Dump and Garbage Trucks
Dump or garbage trucks are typically seen in more residential areas and are usually most hazardous to pedestrians, bikers, and small cars. These types of trucks carry large loads of trash and waste, dirt, demolition debris, gravel, and other construction materials. Like tractor-trailer trucks, dump trucks are top-heavy, causing a risk of blind spots, rollover accidents, and flying debris.
In many circumstances, tow trucks are owned and run by private companies. Many drivers of these 10,000-pound trucks are inadequately trained and account for many accidents on the road involving commercial trucks.
A tanker truck is a commercial vehicle that hauls liquids or gases. Like other large trucks, a tanker truck's size and shape make it prone to rollovers. An accident involving a tanker truck can be hazardous if the liquids or gas inside the truck are flammable or if toxic substance fumes are released.
Flatbed trucks have a long open trailer that allows for loading and unloading cargo. Many flatbed truck accidents occur from improperly secured cargo that becomes dislodged from the truck, hits other cars on the road, or causes multiple accidents from passenger vehicles attempting to miss fallen objects.
Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
The trucks described above can cause dangerous accidents for many reasons, including those described below. Each truck accident is unique, and an experienced Myrtle Beach truck accident lawyer will thoroughly investigate your accident to determine the liable party and fight for your fair compensation.
Commercial truck drivers are responsible for following the rules of the road, truck driver regulations, and South Carolina law. A truck driver who fails to exercise reasonable care can cause a dangerous truck crash and serious injuries. Some examples of negligent driving include:
- Aggressive driving or road rage
- Frequent lane changes
- Failure to check for blind spots before changing lanes
- Failure to use proper turn signals and improper turning
- Not obeying traffic laws
Distracted driving includes any activity that takes a trucker's eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or attention away from driving safely. Some examples of distracted driving that may cause a truck crash include:
- Texting and driving
- Talking on the phone and driving
- Eating and driving
- Drinking non-alcoholic drinks and driving
- Looking at or listening to a GPS
- Grooming, such as brushing hair or shaving
- Listening to or changing music
Fatigue is a silent but significant danger on our roads, especially when it comes to truck accidents. Tired truckers are at a heightened risk of causing devastating accidents due to impaired reaction times, decreased alertness, and impaired judgment. The demanding schedules often associated with the trucking industry can lead to sleep deprivation, making it difficult for drivers to stay focused and make sound decisions. Trucking companies should ensure their truck drivers adhere to federal hours of service regulations and feel safe to stop driving when they get tired.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
The consequences of drunk or drugged truckers taking to the road can be catastrophic. Alcohol and drugs impair judgment, coordination, and reaction times.
Inadequate Trucker Training
Truck drivers are entrusted with operating large, heavy vehicles that pose significant risks to themselves and others on the road. Without proper training, a trucker may not know about crucial safety protocols, proper vehicle handling, and effective response to emergencies. This knowledge gap can result in accidents caused by driver errors, such as improper braking, failure to maintain control, or inadequate responses to adverse weather conditions.
If a truck has too much weight for its load capacity, it can create tire blowouts, cause the truck to jackknife, or even roll over due to too much weight. Some overloaded vehicles have debris that flies out and can affect other drivers.
Unfamiliarity With Local Roads
Many truckers are from out of town. When truck drivers are not familiar with Myrtle Beach routes, they may try to take turns too quickly or fail to anticipate traffic signals or pedestrians.
Poor Maintenance or Mechanical Issues
Poor maintenance or mechanical issues can cause many problems with any vehicle on the road. A large commercial truck with worn-out tires or degraded brakes can cause a driver to lose control and cause major accidents. All trucks should keep a maintenance log where all checks are documented. A trucking company can be held responsible for property damage and injuries after an accident if its faulty equipment is found to blame.
Dangerous Road Conditions
When roadways are not consistently maintained and are heavily trafficked, potholes or uneven roads can make driving dangerous. Unpaved roads that are narrow or do not have a shoulder can also create unsafe conditions for large trucks on Myrtle Beach roads.
Types of Myrtle Beach Truck Accidents
Truckers can cause different types of catastrophic crashes. Below are some of the types of truck accidents that an experienced Myrtle Beach truck accident lawyer at Derrick Law Firm Injury Lawyers can handle.
Head-on accidents involving a tractor-trailer truck often occur when a trucker becomes distracted or drowsy and begins to drive into oncoming traffic, hitting another vehicle in the front. These accidents are typically very serious and cause significant injuries or death.
A T-bone crash usually happens when a truck runs a red light or stop sign and hits a traveling car in its side.
Wide Turn Crashes
Tractor trailers are hard to maneuver. Sometimes, truckers need to take wide turns and swing their truck to the left before making a right turn. Truckers may collide with or entrap cars if they are unaware of their surroundings. These types of turns are also called "swinging turns."
A jackknife accident occurs when a truck driver brakes fast and hard in an attempt to stop. The trailer will slide outward and create a 90-degree angle to the cab of the truck and may hit other vehicles in its path.
A rollover is when a commercial truck driver loses control of his vehicle and the truck rolls over onto its side. Accidents like these often take out other cars on the road.
Rear-end collisions happen for many reasons, including driving too fast for conditions. Speeding, particularly in a heavy vehicle that is difficult to stop, can cause catastrophic rear-end crashes on Myrtle Beach roads.
This type of accident may have different names, but essentially, an underride is when a large truck stops quickly, and the vehicle behind it do not stop in time and become lodged under the truck's trailer. These are some of the deadliest accidents that occur.
Truck Debris Crashes
When a truck has improperly loaded or unsecured freight, loads can fall out or off the truck, causing an accident or injury to others on the road.
An experienced truck accident lawyer will investigate all possible causes of your South Carolina commercial truck accident and help you seek damages for your injuries from the truck driver, trucking company, or other appropriate defendant.
Truck Accident Injuries
Your injuries are unique and should be treated that way. While your health care providers focus on your medical treatment, our Myrtle Beach truck accident lawyers will fight for your recovery of financial compensation for your injuries and the impact your injuries have on your life.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Truck accident spinal cord injuries often result in paralysis, chronic pain, and long-term physical and emotional challenges. These injuries can be life-altering events, profoundly impacting victims' quality of life and future prospects.
Back and Neck Injuries
These are some of the most common injuries seen in motor vehicle accidents, including large truck crashes. The neck and back are critical for movement and daily activities and can have long-term effects on injured parties, including paralysis.
Head and Brain Injuries
Head injuries or head trauma can cause a wide range of issues that can be life-altering. Traumatic brain injury symptoms may not occur until after the accident. Things like headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, vision problems, and other symptoms can indicate a head injury. Some head trauma causes cognitive issues and motor skill loss. Some people are not able to fully recover after suffering a brain injury.
Motor vehicle crashes can result in broken bones. Depending on the unique circumstances of the crash, you could suffer broken legs, arms, ribs, neck, back, hand, foot, face bones, or other bones.
The impact from truck accidents can often cause blunt force trauma to internal organs like the liver, spleen, lungs, and bladder. If ruptured or significantly injured, these organs can be difficult to repair.
In the most severe cases, Myrtle Beach truck accidents can be fatal.
Whether you've been hurt or lost a loved one in a South Carolina truck accident, now is the time to talk to an experienced truck accident attorney about a truck accident claim and how you may recover fair compensation.