Trucks and cars traverse the nation’s roads and highways together daily, in most cases with no adverse effects. However, when cars and tractor-trailers are involved in an accident together, the people in the cars rarely come out ahead. Because of the massive size advantage or tractor-trailers, injuries and deaths are likely to occur, and the occupants of the cars are by far the more likely victims.
In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014 there were 3,903 people killed and an estimated 111,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks. Nearly three-fourths of the deaths and injuries in those crashes were passenger vehicle occupants — 73 percent were occupants of the passenger rather than the drivers of the trucks involved.
Fatal crashes involving trucks are going up, as are the number of injury-involved accidents when tractor-trailers are on involved. There were more than 4,300 large trucks and buses involved in fatal crashes in 2015, up 8 percent from 2014. The rate of fatal large truck crashes in 2015 also was up from 2014, from 0.138 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by all motor vehicles to 0.140, an increase of 1.7 percent. The number of injury crashes involving large trucks or buses increased by 62 percent from 2009 to 2015.
Truck Drivers’ Negligence can be a Significant Factor in Accidents
Truck drivers spend a great deal of time driving every day. Even though regulations limit their number of driving hours, most truck drivers spend far more time behind the wheel than most people who do not drive trucks for a living. It is no surprise, then, that a number of acts of negligence by a truck driver can result in accidents, including:
- Fatigue: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that 13 percent of commercial motor vehicle drivers were considered to have been fatigued at the time of their crash. Past studies suggest that fatigue or sleep deprivation may be a contributing factor in at least 30 to 40 percent of crashes involving tractor-trailers.
- Use of drugs or alcohol: Just as for passenger vehicle drivers, drug or alcohol use by truck drivers can have disastrous consequences.
- Speeding: Speeding is a major cause of traffic accidents, and because tractor-trailer rigs are so large and require more time and room for safe maneuvers, speeding can eliminate that safety margin.
- Failure to check blind spots. Tractor-trailers have large blind spots in the rear, on both sides and possibly even in front of the cab, depending upon the design of the truck. The rear blind spot can be 200 feet deep; on the sides, it can extend past the end of the trailer and in front, it can be as far as 20 feet. This can lead to dangerous lane changes if a truck driver fails to adequately check blind spots.
If You Have Been Injured in an Accident involving a Truck in the Vidalia area, Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers of Smith and Tillery
If you have suffered an injury in an accident with a truck in the Vidalia area, you should consult a personal injury attorney to determine what your rights are. You might be entitled to compensation.
The lawyers of Smith and Tillery are experienced in personal injury law and can assist you in protecting your rights and obtaining just compensation in these types of situations. You can reach us at (912) 537-3030 or through our online contact form.