The Dangers of Cement Truck Accidents
Some of the most devastating accidents on the road involve cement trucks. One of the main reasons is the sheer size of these trucks; an empty one can weigh as much as 30,000 pounds and they are often carrying another 30,000 pounds of wet concrete. In many cases, these trucks, even though they seem much smaller, are often much heavier than a tractor-trailer carrying a full load.
The sheer tonnage of a cement truck, also called a cement mixer, can make any accident on the road much worse than many other crashes involving trucks.
Cement truck accidents are often more dangerous for several key reasons:
- The incredible weight of these trucks, especially if they are carrying a full load, means they will need far more distance to come to a full stop. This stopping distance can be a lot longer in cases where the cement mixer driver is speeding or is distracted.
- In addition to needing more time and distance to stop, the weight also makes a cement truck much more difficult to handle, which is why it is not uncommon for cement trucks to roll over.
- Also because of the weight, the parts of a cement truck go through a great deal of stress, which means it is even more crucial to properly maintain and repair cement trucks on a regular basis and for companies and drivers to conduct daily inspections of the equipment, to make sure it is in top working condition.
There are other issues with cement trucks that aren’t directly related to the massive weight, and there are a number of precautions that should be taken over and above regularly maintaining the vehicle’s running parts. For example, a typical aggravating factor in a cement truck accident is time, meaning that a truck that is not equipped with a water tank that would allow the cement to be mixed on site, the ideal timeframe for pouring the wet concrete that is loaded in the tank is an hour, which can cause drivers to rush a little too much to get to their destination to pour it.
No matter how quickly they feel they need to get there, drivers of cement trucks are still bound by the same provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA), which places a higher burden of safety on commercial vehicle operators than the driver of the typical passenger vehicle. This is especially true when a cement truck is operating on a construction job site, where they usually have to operate within a relatively small space and the operator and the other workers pouring the concrete have limited visibility at the site. All workers at the site, including operators and those working around the truck, should be properly and thoroughly trained to work around cement trucks to keep themselves and everyone else safe.
The Gutierrez Law Firm Can Help With Cement Truck Accidents
Obviously, when there is an accident involving a concrete truck with a weight of as much as 30 tons and a typical passenger vehicle, like a car, pickup truck or SUV, it is the passengers of the smaller vehicle that will be most likely to suffer severe injuries. Common injuries caused in vehicle accidents involving cement trucks include traumatic brain injuries, burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and even wrongful death, in many cases. The experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at the Gutierrez Law Firm are committed to getting the victims of cement truck accidents the compensation they need and deserve. Contact us today, so that we can help you protect your rights.