Dump trucks have different design characteristics than other types of trucks. They’re typically used to carry loose materials like sand, gravel, dirt, asphalt or broken up concrete chunks. Hydraulics are used to dump all or part of a dump truck’s load at a designated location. A large dump truck can carry up to 30,000 pounds of material which is more than 10 times the weight of the average compact car. Given its weight and mass, even when empty, a dump truck requires considerably more stopping distance than a passenger car. If it’s carrying a load, stopping distance increases drastically. So does the risk of an accident resulting in serious injuries or death.
A Quakertown Fatal Dump Truck Crash
An 87-year-old Quakertown man died in early October of 2020 in a crash with a dump truck in Richland Township on Route 309. The Bucks County Coroner reported that the man had been driving his car southbound, when he stopped to turn left into the Richland Township Plaza parking lot. As he was making his turn, a dump truck traveling north on Route 309 changed lanes and went around a slowing vehicle. The decedent’s vehicle was hit by the dump truck on the passenger side before he completed his turn. His vehicle was pushed into a pole where it was found overturned. Local authorities didn’t say whether the dump truck was loaded, or whether any charges would be filed against its driver.
Common Critical Events and Common Causes of Dump Truck Accidents:
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) studied a random sampling of 120,000 fatal truck accidents over the course of three years. In analyzing a broad field of data, more than 1,100 accidents were broken down into critical events and critical causes. In the context of the most critical events, the FMCSA determined that there were three. Those critical events follow:
- Leaving a lane of travel.
- Loss of control of the truck.
- Hitting a vehicle ahead of the truck in the rear.
In the context of the most critical causes, many of them are attributable to inexperienced dump truck drivers. The findings of the FMCSA follow:
- Nonperformance: An example of this might be falling asleep behind the wheel.
- Failure to Recognize: This occurs when a driver fails to perceive a condition on the road. Recognition issues are often the result of distraction or inattention.
- Decisions: Improper perceptions and poor judgment couple to result in bad decisions.
- Performance: This occurs when a driver fails to maintain control of a truck when a critical event occurs on the roadway.
Contact a Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer
Dump truck and other large truck crashes often involve more than one negligent party. There are liability, insurance and damages issues that call for an experienced and aggressive truck accident attorney. If you were injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving a dump truck or any other type of large truck in or around Quakertown, don’t give any type of a statement to an opposing insurance company. Pennsylvania law doesn’t require you to do that, and it’s likely that your own words will be used against you in the future. Call us instead for a free confidential consultation and case review.