When you think of an accident with a truck, chances are you aren’t thinking of cement truck accidents. You’ll likely think of accidents with a big 18-wheeler, loaded down with freight, riding down the road at a high rate of speed. But 18-wheelers are not the only kinds of trucks that can have dangerous accidents.
Accidents can happen with cement trucks for many of the same reasons as accidents with semi-trucks. While a semi can weigh 80,000 pounds with a load of freight, a cement truck can weigh around 60,000 pounds fully loaded—or more!
Distracted driving including drunk driving, driving fatigue, and improper truck maintenance are just a few reasons why a cement truck can have an accident. Even though the cement truck is smaller, an accident with one is still incredibly dangerous.
High Center Of Gravity
The truck’s basic design displaces the center of gravity. Because the drum sits so high, filling it with heavy cement can make driving it so much more difficult. A wrong turn or a sharp swerve, can cause rollovers, even at a lower speed.
The constantly turning drum with sharp blades helps prevent the cement from hardening during the ride. As a result, it sloshes about inside the drum, which can make an unsteady load and increase the risk for tipping and rollovers. Additionally, wet cement is also inclined to cling to the driver side of the drum, made it making that side of the truck the “heavy side.” This makes rollovers more common. Cement trucks are also difficult to stop, maneuver, turn and control in difficult situations. The driver must be aware of dangers and drive appropriately.
Like milk and fresh produce, cement is a volatile product. The driver must get the fluid cement to its destination, fast. If not, the cement hardens and becomes unusable. That’s why it’s vital to keep it moving inside the truck’s rotating drum.
Because cement truck drivers have such a short timeframe–60 to 90 minutes—before the cement begins hardening, they must get from the production facility to the site within that short period of time so that the cement is still usable. Frequently, it means the driver must drive faster than they normally should.
Speeding increases the likelihood of a crash. The truck’s higher center of gravity makes any crash even more dangerous. But even in a low-speed crash, a cement truck accident can leave people in passenger vehicles with serious injuries.
Improper Truck Maintenance
The truck itself is constantly under stress because of the weight of the heavy load it carries. This is particularly true of the brakes, axles, tires, and other essential parts of the truck that carry the load. These trucks require regular inspections and routine maintenance to continue operating in a safe working condition.
If the drum is not properly maintained, it can leak cement, causing other vehicles to slide uncontrollably.
An accident involving equipment failure may involve the examination of maintenance records to determine if it was properly maintained.
Driver Fatigue And Inexperience
Fatigued drivers of any type of truck are prone to accidents especially in a large or unwieldy truck. Any driver may become fatigued after driving all day. When they become fatigued, the chance of an accident increases.
Driving a cement mixer truck has its own challenges. Drivers must not only have basic truck driving skills, such as turning, handling a difficult load, and being alert to road conditions, they also need to understand the complexities of driving a cement truck. “Blind spots” also mean another vehicle may not be visible, or that a driver can’t see anyone standing behind the vehicle on a construction site. An inexperienced driver is much more likely to have an accident while driving one of these trucks.
Texas Cement Truck Accident Lawyer
Cement tuck accidents can be some of the most dangerous for cars sharing the road. If you’ve experienced an accident with a cement truck, it’s important to understand your rights. Working with an experienced Texas cement truck accident lawyer means you can concentrate on healing from your injuries while your case is being handled by someone who understands the law.
The Paxton Law Firm is ready to help you after an accident. Call us at 281-978-2244, use our online contact form to schedule your free consultation. Whether you’re in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, or even El Paso, we’re ready to help.