Anyone who lives, works, or plays in the Atlanta area has witnessed a tow truck racing to the scene of an accident, pushing through traffic to merge, or having to suddenly slow down in order to avoid a collision when traffic slows.
There’s no question that tow trucks and their operators perform a valuable and necessary service for those in the Metro Atlanta area. However, when tow trucks are involved in accidents themselves, the result can be devastating.
Common Causes of Tow Truck Accidents in Atlanta
We all expect that drivers of two trucks, fire trucks, and commercial vehicles have the training and skill needed to be safe. Unfortunately, there are many factors that contribute to tow truck accidents in Atlanta. Take a look at some of the common causes of tow truck accidents in Atlanta.
- Driver error is the leading cause of most auto accidents, including those involving a tow truck. Some examples of driver error include:
- Distracted Driving
- Texting While Driving
- Failure to Yield
- Driving While Intoxicated
- Drowsy Driving
- Reckless Driving
- Aggressive Driving/Road Rage
Speaking of the responsibility of tow truck drivers – one of the most common causes of tow truck accidents is improperly trained drivers. Many tow truck companies provide only basic training and education before allowing their drivers to get on the road. This can be dangerous if the driver does not have a full working knowledge of the truck, mechanics, and how to steer clear of potential problems.
Driving Excessive Hours
All commercial drivers are at risk for fatigued or drowsy driving. But in order to maintain their commercial license, truck drivers must abide by certain laws and regulations. One of those laws relates to how many hours a truck driver can drive before they have to rest. When they do rest, they are required to take an adequate break before getting back on the road.
Tow trucks rely on a complex system of mechanical parts in order to operate properly. If one of these parts malfunctions, it can cause a host of problems – many of which could contribute to an accident. For example, if the tow arm malfunctions and drops behind the truck, it could strike other vehicles and cause massive damage. If a tow truck is outfitted with a recalled or defective part that should have been replaced, there is also a risk for an accident.
Tow trucks must be routinely inspected and maintained. If the tow truck company or driver fail to meet these responsibilities, they can be held liable for accidents that occur. Some examples of how improper maintenance could cause an accident include:
- Tire Blowouts
- Brake Failure
- Steering Problems
- Failing Head or Tail Lights
Improperly Secured Load
Tow truck operators have a great deal of responsibility when loading and securing vehicles on their trucks. If the load is not properly secured, the vehicle could detach and become a serious roadway hazard. The hazards of an improperly secured load are applicable to flat-bed trucks, tow trucks using a wheel lift, and those using a tow arm connected to the chassis.
Excessive Towing Weight
Similar to an improperly secured load, if a tow truck is overloaded with weight, it can become a hazard. Tow trucks that attempt to haul excessive weight may find their own vehicle dead in the water. Tow trucks are under stress already due to the equipment installed on the vehicle. When you add an excessive weight load, the truck may be more vulnerable to tipping over or the driver losing control.
What to Do After a Tow Truck Accident
As you can see, there are many factors that contribute to tow truck accidents in Atlanta. But no matter what the cause is, what is most important is getting proper medical attention and protecting your legal rights.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a tow truck, contact The Embry Law Firm today. Let our truck accident lawyer in Atlanta help you understand your best options for recovering compensation.