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Different Regulations Make Utility Truck Accidents in Portland More Likely to Happen

On behalf of The Johnston Law Firm, P.C. posted in Truck Accidents on October 23, 2020

Crashes and collisions involving semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and other big rigs tend to make headline news. They often involve multiple drivers, serious personal injuries, and road closures for hours afterwards. However, there is another type of truck accident in Portland that is even more common and can produce the same dangerous results. These involve utility trucks and a general lack of safety regulations is one of the factors that make them a major risk. 

Utility Truck Accident Claims Life of Local Child

A truck accident involving a Portland General Electric driver recently claimed the life of a four-year-old boy in Beaverton. An October 12, 2020 Fox 12 News report states that the child was struck by a utility truck while playing in the parking lot of the apartment complex where he lives. The boy was immediately transported to a local hospital but died as a result of his injuries. Police report that the driver did remain on the scene and they are continuing to investigate the truck accident to determine the causes. 

Utility truck accidents often fail to generate headlines the way that big rig accidents do, but they are just as common and potentially dangerous. Each day, drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians are likely to encounter numerous utility trucks on the road. In addition to PGE vehicles, these often include: 

  • Cable, internet, and satellite dish service drivers
  • Lawn care and landscaping trucks;
  • Construction trucks;
  • Street cleaners;
  • Garbage and recycling trucks.

While not as massive in overall size as 18 wheelers, these trucks are bulky and difficult to navigate. Visibility issues combined with problems parking, merging in traffic, shifting when going up or down hills and coming to a stop can all pose significant risks. 

Factors That Make Utility Truck Accidents More Likely To Happen

The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that close to 5,000 fatal big rig truck accidents happen each year throughout the United States. This number does not include utility truck crashes, which are generally more common due to the greater numbers of these trucks on the road. Dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding, driving distracted, and driving under the influence, are often to blame, but a lack of regulation plays a contributing role. 

Companies that send out utility trucks are not obligated to adhere to the same types of state and federal laws that big rig truck companies are forced to comply with. Differences that make utility truck accidents more likely to happen include: 

  • No load limits, which makes rollover accidents more likely;
  • No limits on scheduling and time spent on the road, which increases the risk of drowsy driving;
  • Less frequent inspections, which makes dangerous maintenance errors that can cause a loss of control more likely to go unnoticed.   

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we help you hold utility truck drivers and the companies they work for accountable when you or someone you love is injured. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland truck accident attorneys online to request a consultation today.

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