In the United States, industries produced an estimated 92 million metric tons of cement in 2021. This powdery substance can be mixed with water to make concrete, a versatile construction material. Concrete is transported in a special vehicle called a “cement truck” or “concrete mixer.”
Cement truck accidents can cause significant damage to people and property. At Fielding Law, we understand the tragic effects of these accidents on the victims. If you or a loved one has been affected, we want to help.
You deserve to get the information you need to make a decision regarding your legal options. Get the answers during a free consultation with Fielding Law’s stellar legal team. Why not call (877) 880-4090 today to tell us about your experience and learn your options?
A typical concrete mixer consists of a cab similar to those used for 18-wheelers. Rather than a trailer, a cement truck transports a sizable drum. A spiral-shaped device inside the drum turns to mix the cement with water, a chemical process that results in concrete.
At the delivery site, the trucker can reverse the spiral action. Then, the concrete pours out of the drum down a chute or tube.
Pre-mixer trucks store the water and cement in separate compartments. The driver can begin the mixing process at any given time, so the concrete is ready to use when he or she reaches the destination.
The potential for death and injury is present in any type of accident. For example, motor vehicles caused 33,244 fatalities in 2019.
An analysis of traffic accidents from the year 2020 revealed that thousands of deaths involved large, heavy trucks, such as semi-trailers, buses, and cement trucks. In 71 percent of the cases, the fatalities were occupants of the other vehicles.
The design of cement mixers poses unique dangers to others sharing the roads. What can go wrong?
Cement trucks carry loads of cement in a mixer set high in the back. Skill is necessary to balance loads so the weight will be distributed properly. Otherwise, concrete mixers can topple over, crushing whatever is in their path.
Besides the constantly spilling concrete barrel, trucks might also carry tools like those listed below for concrete work:
Items could fall off into traffic if they are not well secured.
The driver can control when concrete drums release their contents. On occasion, mixers spill material at the wrong time or place. These events result from defective parts.
In other cases, driver errors, such as putting the drum on the “spill” instead of the “mix” setting when driving, are the root cause. Motorists swerving to avoid the wet cement could lose control of their vehicles and end up crashing into other cars, pedestrians, or stationary objects. Even if the motorists suddenly brake instead, other vehicles could collide with them.
All vehicles need regular maintenance. Cement drums have components that owners must inspect and repair when needed to avoid problems, namely:
Poor maintenance could contribute to jerking or halts in the drum’s rotation. These motions could throw the truck off balance, leading to one of the problems described previously. If the mixing drums are not kept clean, workers could be exposed to dangerous conditions that increase the likelihood of accidents (e.g. noise or respiratory hazards).
Of course, some hazards are universal to all moving vehicles. Negligent drivers, transport companies, and others cause preventable accidents that result in serious harm to people like you.
The concrete mix in a truck can harden within a few hours. A premature setting would ruin the purchase order, and it could also damage the drum. Since drivers are paid by the load, they could feel extreme pressure to haul as many loads as possible, doing anything to arrive on time.
About 33 percent of all US traffic fatalities involve drunk drivers. The CDC reports that “driving while impaired with any substance can be deadly.” And using more than one substance or combining drugs and alcohol increase the likelihood of calamity.
Substances dangerous to use while driving include:
In 2019, over 3,100 people died, and another 424,000 were injured, in distracted driver crashes. Distracted behaviors include anything that takes your full attention away from the driving task, for instance:
Truck operators can also become sleepy behind the wheel, especially if they have to drive at dawn or dusk. Long hours and overtime can also create fatigue. Drowsy drivers were responsible for 50,000 injuries and 800 deaths in 2017.
Handling a specialized commercial truck takes expertise. Drivers must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Trucking companies should provide additional training, such as operating their specific type of vehicle, making safe turns, compensating for shifting loads, and adjusting to changing weather and road conditions.
The causes of truck accidents are not always black and white. Fielding Law’s auto accident attorneys offer free case reviews to motor vehicle accident victims so they can get personalized answers to their questions regarding their specific circumstances. Send us a message to tell us about your experience, and we will contact you without delay.
Our attorneys examine evidence to determine who is responsible for accident losses, in particular:
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