Dangerous Freeway Ramps Can Cause Big Rig Truck Accidents
If you have been injured in any kind of truck accident Fernando D. Vargas can help
Freeway driving is dangerous enough as it is, as the high speeds involved increase the likelihood of serious injuries in the event of an accident. Add the weight of a big rig truck to the mix and the potential for life-altering injuries can get even worse. Unfortunately, these two risk factors often collide at freeway ramps, with severe consequences for the truckers as well as any passenger vehicles that may be involved in the accident.
Frequency of Freeway Ramp Truck Accidents
Experts estimate that 30 to 45 percent of all big rig truck accidents occur near freeway ramps. This includes both accidents that occur as trucks merge onto the freeway and accidents that take place as trucks are turning onto surface streets after leaving freeway ramps. Merging accidents account for 20-30 percent of all big rig truck accidents, and accidents at the intersections of freeway exit ramps and surface streets account for 10-15 percent of all accidents.
According to a study that used data from the Colorado Department of Transportation, driver error on the part of truckers and passenger vehicle drivers is not the only factor behind the high rate of freeway ramp truck accidents. Poor or outdated interchange design, as well as inadequate signage, is also a significant factor.
In the study, analysts examined data on Colorado freeway ramp accidents over a 27-month period. They found that the worst type of freeway ramp—both in terms of frequency of accidents and severity of injuries—was the loop type ramp often employed in cloverleaf interchanges. These loop ramps can cause rollover accidents when trucks take them too fast and they can also cause collisions when insufficient room is provided for today’s longer tractor-trailers to merge onto the freeway safely.
Pursuing Compensation for a Big Rig Freeway Ramp Accident
If you have been injured in a big rig truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation from one or more sources.
First of all, if the accident was caused by driver error, it would make sense to target the truck driver’s insurance for compensation.
In some cases, it might be possible to also hold the trucker’s employer liable for the accident. To take this course of action it would be necessary to prove that some fault on the company’s part caused or contributed to the driver’s error or to a mechanical malfunction of the truck. For example, if the trucking company pressured the driver to work while sick or sleep-deprived this could make them liable for any accidents the driver caused.
Finally, if the design or condition of the freeway ramp was a contributing factor in the accident, it may be possible to make a claim against the public entity responsible for the road design or road maintenance. Filing a trucking accident injury claim against a public entity can be complicated and should not be attempted without the assistance of a skilled truck accident injury lawyer such as Fernando D. Vargas.