If you have ever driven around rural parts of Georgia, you know how common it is to see farms and ranches, cattle trucks and trailers, and even livestock barns. Georgia is an agricultural state, which means cattle and other livestock trucks are common on many roadways.
During the summer months when livestock is more likely to be moved, there are more reports of cattle truck accidents. You may recall in recent years news stories featuring cows running down the interstate or highway after a trailer overturned or crashed. The thought of cowboys wrangling cattle on a busy interstate like I-85 might seem humorous, but the reality is that these accidents are dangerous and cause injuries and deaths.
At The Embry Law Firm, we recently had the opportunity to explore some of the reasons why cattle truck accidents occur. We believe that being informed about driving dangers is one of the best ways to stay safe on Georgia roadways. Read on to learn about the reasons why cattle truck accidents happen and some tips for staying safe.
5 Reasons Cattle Truck Accidents Occur
1. Unstable Loads
As you might imagine, a truck trailer filled with live cattle can be unstable, heavy, and sometimes lopsided. These factors can lead to accidents due to the truck shifting, veering into other lanes, or overturning.
2. Improper Maintenance
Another potential risk with cattle trailers is improper maintenance. If the trailer has a defect, it could cause a serious accident. Some common defects on livestock trailers include:
- Faulty Brakes
- Tire Blowouts
- Defective Hitches
- Lighting Problems
3. Driver Error
Driver error is a major cause of many types of accidents, including those involving livestock trailers. Some of the errors that lead to accidents include:
- Distracted Driving
- Drowsy Driving
- Aggressive Driving
- Inexperienced Drivers
- Driving Under the Influence
- Driving too Fast for Conditions
Of course, reckless driving or failing to obey traffic rules are common causes of accidents among any type of vehicle.
4. Driver Fatigue
In 2008, J. Woods Livestock Services did a review of livestock truck accidents in the U.S. and Canada over a five-year period. What they found was that driver fatigue factored into accidents as much as 90% of the time. The examination uncovered that 59% of livestock truck accidents happen between midnight and 9 a.m.
5. Cattle Composition
In the J. Woods Livestock Services study, more than 50% of accidents reviewed were cattle truck accidents. Pig and poultry trucks followed second and third. Experts believe that the reason cattle trucks are more prone to accidents is because cattle are top-heavy creatures with a high center of gravity. Even light swerving or bumps in the road can cause cattle to lose their balance and tip the stability of the truck and trailer.
Research by Ruhl Forensics and Wilson Trailers offers compelling evidence of the fact that cattle trailers have just a five-degree margin before reaching the point of “imminent rollover.”
Injured in a Cattle Truck Accident?
Being involved in any type of accident is difficult and traumatic. Cattle truck accidents may be even more so due to the weight of the truck and trailer and the fact that there are massive animals being transported.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a cattle truck accident, contact The Embry Law Firm today. Speak with our truck accident lawyer to determine if you qualify for compensation for your injuries and losses. If your accident injuries are due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve the opportunity to seek justice.