Commercial trucks are significantly larger than passenger vehicles and have a limited field of vision. As a result, accidents involving a truck and a passenger vehicle often result in catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths. For more information about trucking accidents in Oklahoma City, please see our frequently asked questions page.
Causes of Truck Accidents in Oklahoma City
Many factors can contribute to causing an Oklahoma City truck accident. Some of the most common causes include but are not limited to:
- A wheel coming off and hitting another vehicle or causing the truck to swerve into another vehicle
- Driver fatigue or sleeping at the wheel
- Unlicensed, improperly licensed, or inexperienced driver
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- An oversized, overweight, or improperly loaded cargo
- Driving too fast for road conditions or speeding
- Poorly maintained equipment, such as brakes, lights, reflectors, or other safety mechanisms
- Federal Regulation regarding Trucking Accidents
- Any vehicle engaged in interstate commerce must comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
These requirements include but are not limited to:
- A driver may only drive 11 hours over any 14-hour period, followed by ten straight rest hours
- Drivers and trucking companies must maintain log books, fuel receipts, and other trip documentation for at least six months, and vehicle maintenance records for at least one year
- Employers must do a background check on each driver, including verifying the past three years of driving experience
- Maintain minimum insurance coverage, which varies between $750,000 and $5,000,000 depending on the type of cargo and size of the truck
Time is of the Essence when dealing with Oklahoma City truck accidents
Unfortunately, sometimes truck drivers and employers fail to comply with federal regulations, and many of these regulations are easy for drivers and their employers to adjust after an accident. For example, a trucking company might perform maintenance immediately following an accident to make it appear as though the vehicle had been maintained all along. Log books can also be altered or forged, especially if the accident happened because the driver was driving at a time he or she should have been resting. A knowledgeable Oklahoma City trucking accident attorney can investigate the circumstances of your accident to discover the true cause.
A growing trend is to place an electronic control module (ECM) or “black box” device inside trucks that records important information about the truck that could help prove your case. However, many of these devices only record information for a certain period, meaning that the data that would help your case may become lost. The trucking company could also potentially destroy the data.