Rollover accidents can seriously injure motorists, but dump truck rollovers are particularly dangerous. Not only can they injure workers at construction sites, but the material carried in the box can spill out and injure innocent members of the public.
Unfortunately, dump trucks are prone to tipping onto their sides because of their design and other problems with maintenance. If you have been injured, contact a trucking accident lawyer in Austin for a free case review.
The Load is Unbalanced
Dump trucks are vulnerable to tipping over when they elevate the box. Ideally, the material in the box (gravel, loam, etc.) will flow out easily. However, if the load is unbalanced, then the truck itself can tip over.
Sometimes, material gets caught in the upper portion of the box or to one side. If the material can flow, then there might not be a problem. But if the material is jammed in place, then the truck can tip over with the box raised.
The Truck is Sitting on Uneven Ground
This is another reason why dump trucks often tip over. A truck only needs to be on a slightly uneven surface to become unstable. Problems are also compounded if there are problems with the way the load is balanced.
Some trucks tip over because equipment fails as a result of poor maintenance. The Texas Department of Insurance has identified some of the more common problems:
- Hoist cylinders become worn and are replaced with smaller cylinders
- Suspension systems become weak and are not replaced quickly
- Tire pressure is unequal on each side of the truck
- Repairs to the top of the box cause material to become stuck there
Maintenance might be delayed to save money or be performed poorly by inexperienced mechanics.
Some dump trucks are not loaded properly, which contributes to a rollover accident. Those loading the box must not go over the allowable weight limits set by the state’s Department of Transportation. Workers must also recognize whether the material in the box is likely to flow poorly; if so, they should put less of the material at the top of the box.
Dump truck operators can also cause rollover accidents through the careless handling of their trucks. For example, an operator might stop the truck on a surface that is not level. They also might fail to check that the material in the box is reasonably level before they hoist it.
Some errors are more basic. An operator should not stop the truck right beside another vehicle, which increases the risk of injury if the truck tips over. An operator may also fail to check that the tailgate is unlocked, which could prove disastrous.
Injured in a Dump Truck Accident? Contact Our Legal Team
Dump trucks are a fact of life at construction sites. However, dump truck accidents should rarely occur, and when operator error is to blame, innocent victims can often sue.
Contact DC Law today. Our firm has helped many injured victims get compensation, so please call 512-888-9999 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.