Dump trucks are large vehicles which typically transport materials to construction sites, such as gravel or loam, in an open-box bed at the rear of the truck. To help materials flow out of the truck, the operator can elevate the box, letting gravity do its work. Dump trucks also transport construction debris to the dump and are integral to site cleanup.
Although a vital piece of heavy machinery, dump trucks are also quite dangerous. They get into many accidents which send innocent people to the hospital with serious injuries and sky-high medical bills. Our Salem personal injury attorney looks at some of the key reasons for these accidents.
Instability when the Box is Elevated
Dump trucks are prone to tipping over due to their construction. When the box is elevated, the truck’s center of gravity shifts, and the truck is much less stable.
- Other factors contribute to tip-over accidents:
- The truck is parked on an uneven surface.
- The load gets stuck and doesn’t flow out easily.
- The box is loaded over the acceptable weight limit.
- The operator doesn’t know how to operate the dump truck properly.
Whatever the reason, a truck which rolls over could injure both the driver sitting inside and anyone standing near the truck. Serious crush injuries and fractures are likely to occur.
The dump truck’s box is usually uncovered, which means debris can come flying out of the truck and strike other vehicles on the road when the truck is in motion. Flying debris can also cause motorists to swerve, setting off a chain reaction when they collide with another motorist.
Ideally, dump truck operators should tie down the material in back with tarps to keep debris from escaping. Unfortunately, many don’t take this step, or the tarp is improperly secured and comes loose.
Truck Driver Negligence
Dump truck operators can fail to use reasonable care just like other truck drivers. They can crash into motorists and pedestrians because they:
- Fail to check their mirrors
- Drive too fast for conditions
- Drive while intoxicated
- Text while driving
- Drive while fatigued
- Refuse to yield
Dump truck accidents cause serious, often fatal injuries given their size. For example, a 77-year-old woman died in late 2021 in Marion County when her Nissan collided with a dump truck—just one of the many crashes involving these vehicles. The dump truck driver managed to walk away without serious injury.
Many parts need to work seamlessly for a dump truck to work safely. Unfortunately, defective parts can make the truck unstable and dangerous when driven on the road or when stopped with the box elevated. Some common defective parts include the suspension system or hoists, which lead to tip-overs. Other defective parts could include brakes and steering systems.
Speak with a Salem Personal Injury Attorney Today
A dump truck accident is one of the more serious truck collisions. It is not always possible to walk away from the accident scene. Indeed, many of our clients are facing financial ruin after a crash. To speak with a member of our team, call Johnston Law Firm P.C. at (503) 546-3167 or send us an online message.