Truck Accidents: What You Need to Know
Thousands of trucks transport goods across the country daily. And just like any vehicle on the roadway, they are involved in motor vehicle crashes. The vast majority of truck accidents are caused by driver negligence or carelessness. Sadly, devastating injuries caused by these collisions could’ve been easily prevented if truck drivers and trucking companies took greater care to ensure the safety of others sharing the road.
Despite disinformation campaigns by insurance companies and defense attorneys, the standard of care for truck drivers is not the same as a typical driver. They hold commercial driver’s licenses, are regulated by different laws, and subject to far more stringent training. Strong public policy requires commercial truck drivers operate their vehicles as safe as possible to avoid collisions with passenger vehicles.
Unfortunately, victims of catastrophic injuries and deaths in truck crashes are the occupants in the other vehicle. This is because people in smaller vehicles are far more vulnerable than those in a large truck – tractor trailers can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, while the average family sedan weighs only 3,300 pounds. This disparity can lead to disastrous consequences in the event of a truck accident.
Tractor trailers are also much taller than passenger cars with greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller vehicles under riding trucks in crashes. These types of accidents are often fatal.
Truck braking capability can also be a factor in truck crashes. A loaded tractor trailer can take 20-40 percent farther to stop than a normal passenger car, and this discrepancy is even greater on wet and slippery roadways or with poorly maintained brakes. Truck driver fatigue also is a known crash risk. Drivers of large trucks are allowed by federal hours-of-service regulations to drive up to 11 hours at a stretch. Surveys indicate that many drivers violate the regulations and work longer than permitted.
Truck Accident Facts
In 2018, 4,136 people died in large truck crashes – 67% were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, and 15% were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.
The number of people who died in large truck crashes was 31% higher in 2018 than in 2009.
In 2018, 96% of vehicle occupants killed in two-vehicle crashes involving a large truck were occupants of the passenger vehicles.
11% of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2018 occurred in large truck crashes.
The Oakes Firm is dedicated to helping injured people and grieving families obtain answers, justice, and full compensation. If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident, don’t hesitate to contact us now. We are available 24/7 for a free case consultation to evaluate your potential claims. Learn how an award-winning Philadelphia personal injury lawyer at The Oakes Firm can get you the help you need and the money you deserve.