One of the most dangerous types of traffic accidents for the average driver involves a crash with a big truck. The sheer size and weight of large commercial trucks can cause devastating injuries to those in smaller vehicles. Injuries received in truck accidents can lead to long-term disability and death.
Data from the NSC (National Safety Council) shows that just over 5,000 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents in 2019. In 2020, over 100,000 large trucks were involved in crashes resulting in injuries. NSC statistics show some interesting facts regarding truck accidents. Most of these accidents occurred on non-interstate roadways, most happened during daylight hours, and most occurred in rural vs urban areas. Commonly cited factors that influenced jury awards in favor of plaintiffs in lawsuits against trucking companies included hours-of-service violations, lack of clean driving history, and fatigue of the truck driver.
The following are common causes of accidents involving big trucks:
Trucking is a high-stress job with deadlines that must be met. The driver must deliver goods to their destination on schedule. Long distances are covered with few breaks taken. The driver may not follow laws and regulations governing how many hours can be driven before a break is required. Even if the driver does rest, that doesn’t mean there was good quality sleep. Driving while fatigued can be as dangerous as impaired driving. A person’s coordination and reflexes are slower and concentration is not as focused. A driver will be slower to react to changing conditions on the roadway.
Distracted driving affects truckers as well as other drivers. Changing radio stations, looking at a phone or texting, eating and drinking, reaching for an object, adjusting the air or heat, and other activities take attention away from the task of driving. Taking eyes off the road even momentarily can cause an accident.
Truckers may speed to maintain their delivery schedules. Some may drive too fast for road conditions, weather conditions, and traffic. Unsafe lane changes to pass slower vehicles can also cause accidents. The stopping distance for big rigs is considerably longer than for smaller vehicles. This makes it easier for them to rear end another vehicle when the truck is unable to stop quickly enough.
Were you injured in a truck accident?
If you have been injured in an accident with a big truck, you need legal representation. You may be facing mounting medical bills, lost wages, extensive rehabilitation, and disability. You may need help dealing with the insurance company. South Carolina attorney Venus Poe, PA is experienced in helping clients get their lives back on track following a truck accident. She can deal with the details so that you can concentrate on your recovery. Contact her offices today for a free consultation.