Although a large percentage of truck accidents involve tractor trailers, personal injury claims attorneys know that many commercial vehicle accidents also involve dump trucks. These trucks are classified as single-unit large vehicles and can be quite dangerous to operate.
Dump trucks are responsible for more injuries than most people realize. Injury claims lawyers have seen that they can be more dangerous than other trucks on the roads, causing severe and fatal injuries.
Dump Trucks - A Cause of Severe Injuries
Large and heavy vehicles are responsible for nearly 100,000 truck accidents, 110,000 injuries, and as many as 4,000 fatalities every year.1 These events involve single unit heavy dump trucks as well as multi-unit tractor-trailers.
There are nearly 8,500,000 single-unit heavy vehicles registered today,1 four times that of the 2,700,000 multi-unit tractor-trailer type vehicles registered. According to the IIHS, single-unit trucks are responsible for 21% of all large truck fatalities.2
Dump Trucks - As Dangerous As Semis
Even though truck accidents are more likely to involve tractor trailers, attorneys who handle personal injury claims note that single-unit trucks like dump trucks are still responsible for nearly one-fourth of all fatalities. This is likely because there are so many more of these vehicles in operation, which increases the chance of accidents.
Additionally, dump trucks are notoriously dangerous to operate and for passenger vehicles to drive around. When fully loaded, they can weigh as much as 65,000 pounds, which is only 15,000 pounds less than a fully-loaded semi.
Injury claims lawyers who deal with accident cases can attest to the fact that even though they are smaller than tractor-trailers, when dump trucks are improperly operated they are just as likely to be affected by weather, load imbalances, and other handling factors.
This amount of weight produces a large amount of force when such a large vehicle collides with a smaller vehicle, making severe injuries more likely.
Common Dump Truck Accidents that Cause Severe Injuries
Personal injury claims attorneys find that some of the most common occurrences with dump trucks include rollovers due to load imbalances and sliding on wet or icy roads. Since they are much wider than standard cars or passenger trucks, these vehicles are often involved in accidents because they cross the yellow line or have slow maneuverability.
They are taller than other vehicles, not only raising their center of gravity that makes rollovers more likely, they have reduced visibility to the rear which increases the chance of a backing accident. Accidental load dumping or spilling is yet another cause of dump truck crashes. Injury claims lawyers agree that poor hiring and training practices, driver distraction, and other driver-related errors make these occurrences even more likely.
Because dump trucks are so prevalent and can be found all across the U.S. on highways, city streets, and even smaller roads with less traffic the possibility of severe dump truck accidents are rather common. Personal injury claims attorneys stress that these vehicles are responsible for many serious injuries and nearly one-fourth of all large vehicle fatalities.
Just like any other heavy vehicle, these trucks must be operated with great care in order to prevent dangerous circumstances from occurring. Injury claims lawyers encourage all drivers to exercise caution when around dump trucks and stress that dump truck companies must observe good hiring and driver training practices to reduce the risk of deadly accidents!
Hildebrand & Wilson, Attorneys at Law
7930 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
1U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Administration: 2017 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus statistics, June 2017
2Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, Highway Safety Research & Communications, Large Trucks 2016, December 2017