Logging Truck Accident Lawyer Kentucky
Logging is a significant industry in rural Kentucky. Felled trees don’t make anyone money unless they make it to a sawmill or other processing plant. That means logging trucks driving back and forth along rural roads, state highways, and interstates. Some of those trucks and their drivers are unsafe and will cause accidents.
Why are Logging Trucks Dangerous?
A study of logging truck accidents published in 2018 pointed out many problems. The information used is from a nationwide federal database of truck accidents, which included data on 383 logging truck accidents:
- They found that logging truck accidents increased from 2011 to 2015
- Most (84%) involved tractor trailers
- Tractor-trailer accidents increased overall in the US during those years by 19%, but accidents by trucks hauling logs increased by more than 33%
- Logging trucks, in general, were the oldest trucks involved in accidents. They were nearly twice as old as the tractor-trailer average (13 years vs. 7.6 years)
- Fatal crashes involving logging trucks increased by 41% between 2011 and 2015
- Logging trucks are almost twice as likely to roll over than the overall average (21% of the accidents vs. 12%) in fatal crashes
Researchers suggested additional training and attention to:
- The increased risk of rollovers
- Defensive driving and awareness of other vehicles
- The maintenance needs of older trucks
Logging companies may hire the least expensive truckers they can find, leading to undermaintained trucks operated by inexperienced or less qualified drivers. The trucks may be dangerous to operate. As the study shows, these trucks may be old and have been through many, many miles of rough trips on dirt and poorly maintained roads.
The trucks themselves are only part of the problem.
Why are Logging Truck Drivers Dangerous?
Driving a logging truck is difficult and hazardous. Most accidents involving logging trucks and other vehicles are caused by the other drivers, but there are still many times when the truck driver’s to blame.
The driver must drive properly and ensure the truck is safe before getting on the road. Problems can include:
- Improperly secured logs coming off the truck and onto roadways, endangering pedestrians and other motorists. The logs may strike them directly, or other vehicles, swerving out of the way, may cause secondary accidents
- Trucks may be overloaded, impacting how the truck accelerates, handles, and stops. It may also increase the rollover risk
- Logging truck drivers going too fast, especially if roads are narrow, in poor condition, or water, snow, or ice covered. It will take much longer for the truck to stop. If they try to do so while speeding, there’s an increased risk of a rollover or unsecured logs coming off the back. Speeding logging trucks may ignore stop signs or lights or not stop in time, risking t-bone accidents with other vehicles
- Drivers may be fatigued or distracted, so they don’t respond to conditions in front of the truck quickly enough to prevent an accident. To stay alert, drivers may use illegal drugs, which will make them less safe to drive
- Drivers eager to complete their runs may tailgate other vehicles, which may result in accidents
Often accidents have multiple causes. There may be something unsafe about the truck, the driver made a mistake, and a rural road may be poorly designed or maintained.
Speak To a Logging Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a family member is injured or killed in a Kentucky logging truck accident, our attorneys can and will help you handle legal matters with confidence. Put boots on the ground with help from Satterley & Kelley PLLC.
Please see our truck accident page for more truck injury information.