The Fatal Reality of Trucking Accidents
In a recent year, over 4,100 people died in trucking accidents, and 86% of those that died were driving cars, riding motorcycles or bicycles, or walking. The reality is that large trucks are 20 to 30 times the size of an average passenger car, and when that mass is moving at 55 miles per hour and then collides with a vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian, it’s catastrophic. Every year, staggering numbers of deaths and injuries are the result of commercial truck accidents.
Trucking Accident Statistics
A recent report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety provided several statistics regarding large truck accidents, including:
- While the number of fatalities from truck crashes is still below the extreme highs between 1979 and 2018, they are on an 11-year rise with an increasing number of deaths each year.
- In the 2,212 deaths that occurred in accidents involving a truck and a passenger vehicle, 96% of the deaths were those in the passenger vehicles.
- In a recent year, 11% of all fatalities in vehicle accidents in the US involved large trucks.
- Only 33% of fatal truck accidents occurred on highways, with 52% taking place on major roads and only 14% on minor roads.
Causes of Trucking Accidents
Driving a large truck requires an extensive training and licensing procedure, but unfortunately, no amount of training can prevent an exhausted driver from making a mistake while behind the wheel. Some of the most common causes of fatal truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue: Commercial drivers have time limits placed on the number driving hours to ensure drivers get sufficient sleep despite tight deadlines. Unfortunately, these regulations are routinely violated to attempt to make deliveries on time.
- Speeding: The distance a truck needs to brake is 20-40% longer than that of a car, and when truckers speed, the risk of accident shoots up.
- DUI: The legal blood alcohol limit for commercial drivers is .04%, as compared to .08% for non-commercial drivers. Unfortunately, truckers are routinely stopped for DUI, and it is a common cause of trucking accidents.
- Negligence: Lack of maintenance or improper maintenance, specifically on brake systems, is one of the top causes of death in trucking accidents. The speed and mass of these large trucks are a force to be reckoned with, and if the brakes aren’t entirely functional, then everyone around them is at risk.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is considered six times more dangerous than drunk driving. It takes an average of four to six seconds to look at or send a text message, and at 55 miles per hour, a truck will travel the length of a football field.
If your accident was the result of negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for all damages by filing a claim or lawsuit.
Why You Need a Lawyer
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury in a trucking accident, hiring a Permian Basin truck accident attorney is a wise decision. We will perform a thorough investigation into the causes of the accident and hold the responsible parties accountable, whether it’s the driver, the trucking company, a part manufacturer, or the driver of another vehicle. Our attorneys have decades of experience protecting the rights of victims and recovering millions of dollars in compensation for the families of those who have been injured or killed in trucking accidents. Our consultations are free, and we take cases on a contingency fee basis – you won’t owe us legal fees unless we win your case.