What Are Truck Backup Accidents?

What Are Truck Backup Accidents? When driving on the road, we know the risks we take. Simply getting into a car and driving it is a risk, because we cannot control the actions of others. Perhaps one of the biggest potential hazards on the road are those large tractor-trailers we often see driving on the highway. With limited visibility and slow braking speed, they pose plenty of dangers to the drivers around them.

While we think of the front of the truck, or even the side of the truck, as the most dangerous “parts,” backup accidents are among the most common types of truck crashes there are. They are also among the most catastrophic, and the injuries they cause can be life-altering.

How do backup accidents happen?

Backup accidents usually happen when the driver of the truck is negligent in some way: inexperienced, distracted, or inattentive. Usually, the driver is unaware of the obstacle that they are backing up into, or they are using poor technique while reversing their vehicle. There are several factors that truck drivers need to consider when backing up:

  • Inadequate clearance on both the sides and the top of the truck.
  • Objects located directly to the rear of the truck.
  • Objects that move into the pathway of the truck.
  • Blind spots that are created by the truck.

This last point is critically important. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) advises that truck drivers check their mirrors every 8-10 seconds to ensure that their blind spots are clear. Vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders can enter a blind spot in a manner of seconds, so truckers must be aware of the risk.

Of course, not all backup accidents occur on roadways. Loading docks are especially perilous, as they are designed for reversing trucks. According to Material Handling & Logistics, about a quarter of all workplace injuries are loading dock injuries. A trucker who is misdirected by a yard worker, who does not check his or her mirrors before reversing, or who is inexperienced can easily hit a person, a building, or another vehicle.

While tractor-trailers may pose the greatest risk of fatal injury from a back-up accident, smaller commercial vehicles also wreak havoc – especially because they are allowed on local roads, where big-rigs may not be. Delivery trucks, moving trucks, garbage trucks, and other smaller box trucks can hit another vehicle or a person while backing up into a spot, or while coming out of a driveway or parking lot.

What injuries can I sustain from a backup accident?

Many truck accidents are fatal, but the ones that are not can lead to severe injuries. These injuries include:

  • Broken bones: This can vary from injuries such as a broken finger or arm, to broken ribs or pelvis. These can take months to heal.
  • Head and brain injuries: These injuries are some of the most severe injuries. While there are some less critical injuries such as concussions, there are also some injuries of the head or brain that can lead to temporary or permanent medical conditions such as seizures, paralysis, or brain damage.
  • Spinal cord injuries: These often result in temporary to permanent partial or full paralysis, chronic back pain, neck pain, pelvic pain, etc.
  • Whiplash: Whiplash occurs when the body is suddenly and hashly jolted, causing your neck to jerk wildly. This can lead to long term neck and shoulder pain.
  • Crush injuries: Crush injuries are just what they sound like: injuries sustained due to prolonged and often severe compression of a body part, and when it comes to backing up accidents, these injuries are common. This can see organ ruptures, organ failure, crushed bones, etc.
  • Amputations: Whether this is from the accident itself, where the limb is severed from the body by part of the car, or whether this happens because of the accident where the treating surgeon dictated that the limb must be removed, an amputation will change your life forever.

What can the law do to help me after a backing accident?

If you’ve been involved in a backing up accident, then you can and should seek out compensation for any damages your vehicle sustained, and any injuries you sustained. Our York, PA injury attorneys are trained and knowledgeable in the area of truck accidents. You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who was driving the truck at the time of your accident. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and the pain and suffering you’ve undergone, and will undergo in the future concerning the injury you sustained.

Helpful hints for Pennsylvania truck drivers

Truck drivers can be injured in back-up accidents, too. It is important to know where your blind spots are, and to make sure and check them each time you are about to reverse. You may even wish to get out of the cab of the truck and walk around your vehicle to make sure there are no obstructions if you do not have a spotter to help you. When you do backup, make sure to do so slowly and carefully, and don’t assume there’s nothing behind you or in your blind spots. If you don’t have the mirror “bubbles,” you should consider installing them.

Truck accidents happen, and we need to remember that sometimes the most dangerous place you can be in relation to a truck is behind it. You should not have to pay for all of your losses when someone else’s negligence is to blame for the crash. In some cases, the injuries you sustained in the accident may affect you the rest of your life. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer in York, PA, call KBG Injury Law at 717-848-3838 or fill out our contact form. We have offices in York, Lancaster, Hanover, Harrisburg, and Gettysburg, PA.