Georgia Pickup Truck Accidents Can Be Extremely Dangerous
In June of 2010, Georgia's governor, Sonny Perdue, signed into law a bill that would require drivers and front passengers in pickup trucks to wear seat belts.
Up until then, Georgia had only required people in the front seats of cars, vans, and SUVs to wear seat belts. The reason that pickups had not been included in the seat belt law prior to this time was because rural legislators felt that it would be inconvenient for farmers and farm workers who had to get in and out of their work trucks frequently. They also argued that there was so little traffic on farm roads that the risk of collision was too low to be an issue. This change to the law redefining "passenger vehicle" to include pickup trucks was predicted to save 21 lives, 300 injuries, and about $30 million in hospital expenses a year.
It is hard to believe that the state would have allowed passengers in a pickup truck driving on any roadway in Georgia to drive without this critical protection. This is especially true since about 48 percent of the region’s fatal car crashes that occurred on rural roads involved unbelted pickup truck drivers.
Driving in the front of a pickup truck is not the only place that can be dangerous. Riding in the back of a pickup truck is even more likely to lead to serious injury or even death. With summer just around the corner, it is not uncommon for people who are traveling with friends to allow passengers to ride in the back of their trucks.
Unfortunately, pickup beds were designed for hauling equipment and cargo rather than people. There are no seat belt restraints in the back of a pickup truck, and there are no seats or protection for a passenger. Most pickup trucks with passengers riding in the back also do not have a cover or shell, which would only provide nominal protection anyway.
In the event of a collision people in the back of a pickup truck will most likely be thrown from the truck. This typically leads to serious injury and possibly death. If the pickup truck flips over, then chances are that passengers in the back will be thrown out or crushed.
According to one study, one third of all people who lost their life riding in the back of a pickup truck were killed even though the vehicle they were riding did not strike another vehicle. Some of the reasons passengers are ejected from the back of a truck include:
- The driver hits a bump or a pothole in the road.
- The driver hits a curb.
- The driver makes sudden sharp turns.
- The driver makes sudden stops.
- The driver swerves unexpectedly.
- A passenger is riding up on the wheel well or frame of the truck.
- A passenger is standing up in the back of the truck.
According to the US Department of Transportation, cargo areas covered with camper shells did not offer sufficient protection to protect passengers from injuries. Fourteen percent of cargo area auto accident deaths occurred in covered pickup cargo areas. Even though the passengers in the front of pickup trucks now are afforded more protection due to mandated seat belt use, the passengers in the back of pickup trucks are provided virtually no protection for serious Georgia auto accident injuries or wrongful death.
If you have been seriously injured or have lost a loved one in a serious Georgia pickup accident, our attorneys are committed to fighting for the best interests of our clients as part of our goal of being regarded as the best pickup truck accident lawyers in Atlanta and throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast. Our experienced Georgia pickup truck accident lawyers will strive to get the best results possible in your case. Montlick and Associates is available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.