Truck accidents often result in life-changing injuries or death. Even in cases where the truck driver is clearly at fault, trucking companies often train their drivers on what to say following an accident in order to avoid blame. Insurance companies also have a vested interest in shifting the responsibility away from their customers, making it incredibly important to hire an experienced attorney to help you file your claim and fight to secure the compensation you are owed.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, about 3,600 to 3,700 occupants of passenger vehicles die each year in big truck accidents. That amounts to more than one-fifth of all passenger vehicle occupant deaths in multiple-vehicle crashes.
In an overwhelming majority of big truck accidents, truck drivers escape without a scratch, while drivers of the passenger vehicles suffer devastating, and often deadly, injuries. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, about 5,000 people die each year in big truck accidents, and about 85 percent of victims aren’t truck occupants. In fatal big truck accidents involving passenger vehicles and large trucks, 98 percent of the deaths occur to the people in the passenger vehicles.
There are many factors that contribute to big truck accidents including the following:
Trucks can weigh up to 20 or 30 times more than passenger cars, leaving passengers in smaller vehicles extremely vulnerable during big truck accidents. In addition, big trucks take 20 to 40 percent longer than smaller cars to stop, and that percentage is greater when the trailers are loaded.
Another factor in big truck accidents is driver fatigue. Studies have shown that drivers are more likely to be involved in big truck accidents after long hours on the road. Truckers are human just like the rest of us and when they are overworked or sleep-deprived, they make mistakes. It’s important to realize that many experienced truckers are paid by the mile and when they sleep, they lose money. Because of this, many truck drivers push themselves too far and end up falling asleep at the wheel. Drivers of large trucks are allowed by federal hours-of-service regulations to drive no more than 11 hours per day, but they are allowed up to 77 hours of driving over a seven-day period. Some truckers have been found falsifying hours-of-service records in order to appease their bosses or increase their pay.
No Maintenance or lack thereof
If a truck is not properly maintained, even the safest truck driver is at a much greater risk of causing an accident. One mechanical failure such as brakes or suspension is, unfortunately all it takes to cause a deadly accident to happen.
Reckless or Negligent Behavior
Some truckers believe other motorists should yield to them because of the massive size of commercial trucks. This kind of behavior can result in serious injury or death.
If you were seriously injured by a reckless or negligent truck driver, you may be able to file a lawsuit and fight for the compensation you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and any other damages you may have incurred. Our truck accident attorneys at Foster & Sear have worked with thousands of victims since we first opened our doors, and we are ready and waiting to use the experience we’ve gained to help you prepare a plan of action that best suits your needs.