Truck safety is a major concern, especially on Kansas roads which see high volumes of large truck traffic. While most truck drivers and trucking companies prioritize safety, there are still far too many crashes caused by unsafe trucks with mechanical issues, overloaded trucks, fatigued drivers, and more. As a Kansas resident, being able to recognize signs of unsafe trucks and knowing how to properly report them can help improve public safety. Speak to a Wichita personal injury lawyer if a dangerous truck caused you or a loved one to experience a collision.
Poor Maintenance and Mechanical Issues
One of the most common causes of truck crashes is lack of proper maintenance leading to mechanical failures and truck part malfunctions while out on the road. Warning signs to look out for include:
- Excessive exhaust smoke, especially thick black or blue smoke
- Abnormal rattling or loud noises from engine
- Visible brake fluid leaks
- Cracked windshields or mirrors
- Missing or dangling parts like mud flaps
- Uneven tire wear or bald tires
If you notice any of these red flags, unsafe trucks should be reported right away before a more serious breakdown or crash occurs.
When semi-trucks are loaded beyond legal weight limits, it greatly reduces their ability to brake and maneuver safely. Warning signs of an overloaded truck include:
- High rear or sagging suspension
- “Overloaded” signs on the truck itself
- Speed and acceleration issues going up hills
Overloaded trucks often creep along slowly on highways and struggle making it up inclined roads. The significantly reduced braking capability leads to longer stopping distances as well, making it vital to report overloaded semis.
Driver fatigue is one of the deadliest causes of large truck crashes. There are a number of warning signs that a semi-truck driver may be too tired or drowsy to operate their vehicle safely. These include:
- The driver having difficulty staying within lane lines, weaving or swerving
- Noticeable delayed reactions and slow brake application
- The driver using variable speeds and having trouble maintaining a consistent speed
- The driver hitting rumble strips along road edges
If a truck driver seems to be nodding off or is not fully alert and focused, they could easily cause a major accident and injure other motorists. Reporting drowsy truckers before they cause any crashes allows cops to pull them over, inspect medical records, and enforce hours of service regulations if needed.
How to Report Unsafe Trucks in Kansas
If you spot any clearly unsafe trucks in Kansas exhibiting warning signs like those described above, take down identifying details about the truck and immediately report it by:
- Calling 911 – For urgent dangerous situations that risk immediate crash, call emergency services who can dispatch police to intercept trucks
- Kansas Highway Patrol – Call *47 from mobile phone or *KTA for assistance from highway patrol troopers
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – File a consumer complaint report about unsafe trucking companies or drivers which prompts federal investigation into serious violations
Be prepared to provide license plate or DOT numbers, locations, descriptions of trucks and what appears unsafe. Pictures or videos are also very helpful for law enforcement. The more documentation and evidence provided, the more likely trucks will be inspected and taken off roads until violations and deficiencies are addressed.
Seeking Legal Help After Truck Crashes
Unfortunately, even properly reported unsafe or negligent trucks still cause many serious injury accidents before being stopped. Around 4,300 people are killed and over 100,000 injured in truck crashes annually nationwide. If you or family members are ever the victim of a truck crash causing harm in Kansas, be sure to seek legal help right away. An experienced Kansas truck accident lawyer can help injured victims recover damages, negotiate claims with insurance providers, and pursue fair compensation in truck crash lawsuits when necessary against any liable parties like:
- Trucking companies
- Truck manufacturers
- Part suppliers
- Loading companies
- Individual truck drivers
A qualified personal injury attorney will protect your rights every step after any truck crash causing harm. Key evidence must be preserved, crash reconstruction specialists hired to evaluate causes, and investigations into unsafe practices launched expeditiously or else victims may never receive the payment or accountability they deserve. Those suffering physical, emotional and financial hardships have legal options, but the system is complex. Having a knowledgeable lawyer as an advocate by your side can help injured Kansans overcome daunting legal processes and challenges pursuing rightful compensation.
With offices in 32 locations across 19 states including Kansas, Maryland, and South Carolina, we can help. Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597.