Georgia Log Truck Accidents
Large trucks, used for shipping everything from fresh produce to natural gasses have become a common sight on Georgia’s roads. Unfortunately, these trucks can prove dangerous to other road users, especially when those vehicles are carrying dangerous cargo, like building materials, heavy equipment, and logs. Log truck crashes in particular are surprisingly common in Georgia, making it a good idea for motorists in the state to use extra care when traveling near these kinds of vehicles.
Most logging trucks in Georgia are operated by companies that only serve customers in the state. This means that they are not bound by the same federal regulations as most commercial truck drivers, but are instead governed by the Georgia Forest Product Trucking Rules. These rules dictate everything from vehicle inspections and maintenance logs to driver qualifications and the correct procedures for loading cargo. Unfortunately, truck drivers and the companies that employ them don’t always comply with these rules, which can have devastating consequences for anyone else on the road.
Length of Loads
While many types of truck cargo are transported in closed containers, this is not true for logs, which often extend as much as 20 feet beyond the rear of the trailer in which they have been loaded. These logs can sag in the rear, obscuring trailer tail lights and significantly increasing the risk of collision from drivers approaching from the rear. Extended log loads can also cause a hazard when the truck turns, causing the load to swing out into a nearby lane. In Georgia, when a truck’s load extends more than four feet from the end of the trailer, the driver must:
- Use a flashing LED light that is visible from 500 feet;
- Mark the end of the load with a fluorescent flag of at least 18 inches; and
- Use reflectors and reflecting tape on the end of the load.
Truck drivers who fail to ensure that the entirety of their load is totally visible by taking these precautions could be held liable for a resulting crash.
Log Truck Maintenance
The Georgia Forest Product Trucking Rules exempt intrastate log trucks from a lot of the daily safety inspections that are required under federal law. Unfortunately, this leaves many log trucks (which are required to operate over rough terrain and in tough conditions) in poor repair. This does not, however, mean that there are no maintenance requirements for Georgia log trucks. When a lack of maintenance or a failure to repair a damaged or defective part causes an accident, the owner of the truck or the driver’s employer could still be held liable for resulting injuries.
Seeking Compensation for Your Truck Accident-Related Losses
The injuries sustained in collisions with large commercial vehicles, like logging trucks, are often catastrophic, leaving victims to struggle with chronic pain and disability, all while trying to stay on top of household expenses. If you were hurt in an accident with a logging truck, you could be entitled to monetary compensation for some of your losses. Call 404-593-0020 to speak with the experienced Marietta truck accident lawyers at Shiver Hamilton Campbell about your own case.
dps.georgia.gov/sites/dps.georgia.gov/files/related_files/site_page/Chapter 4 DPS Transportation Rules – 2015.pdf