- October 22, 2023
- Strong Law
- Car Accidents
Commercial trucks and trailers can span over 70 feet in length and weigh up to a staggering 80,000 pounds. These colossal machines, when colliding with a passenger vehicle at high velocities, possess the ability to utterly crush it. In such unfortunate circumstances, the aid of a skilled, assertive, and proficient truck accident attorney becomes indispensable for the victims.
Fatality Numbers of Commercial Truck Accident
According to the latest available statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the data for 2016 reveals some concerning facts. In that year, there were 3,986 fatalities in accidents involving large trucks. Of these, 66 percent were occupants of passenger vehicles, while 16 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists. Surprisingly, 17 percent of the fatalities involved the occupants of the trucks themselves.
Breaking down the types of trucks involved, tractor-trailers accounted for 73 percent of all fatal truck crashes, while single-unit trucks were involved in 21 percent of the incidents. The remaining eight percent were classified as unknown truck types.
Preliminary data for 2017 suggests a troubling nine percent increase in large truck accident fatalities compared to the previous year. Additionally, it is estimated that these crashes resulted in injuries to approximately 140,000 individuals.
These statistics serve as a stark reminder of the importance of road safety and the need to address the factors contributing to these unfortunate incidents.
Common Commercial Truck Accident Injuries
If a survivor is fortunate enough to survive a collision caused by the operator of a sizable truck, the resulting injuries could vary from severe to catastrophic. Here are five of those types of injuries:
- Severe traumatic brain injuries result from blunt force or rapid acceleration and deceleration.
- Spinal cord tears, whether partial or complete, can have devastating consequences such as paraplegia or quadriplegia. These injuries often result in a significant decline in the victim’s overall quality of life and life expectancy.
- Suffering from multiple fractures that necessitate numerous surgeries and result in permanent disfigurement and disability.
- Amputations that occur due to trauma or are medically necessary.
- Burns resulting from exposure to gasoline, diesel fuel, or hazardous materials carried by the truck can cause excruciating pain and result in permanent and significant disfigurement.
Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
There are numerous factors that contribute to large truck accidents. A significant majority of these incidents can be attributed to the pressure of meeting tight and, at times, unrealistic deadlines. It is important to note that the majority of large truck crashes are a result of driver error. Here are some of the more common causes that a commercial truck accident attorney will see:
- Driver drowsiness or fatigue. Drivers are bound by stringent federal hours of service regulations. Unfortunately, some drivers intentionally disregard these rules to meet deadlines, compromising safety and compliance.
- Exceeding the speed limit is closely linked to the problem of strict deadlines. For every five miles per hour that a truck driver surpasses the speed limit, the stopping distance increases significantly.
- Neglecting maintenance, particularly when it comes to tires and brakes, can have dire consequences. Failing to properly upkeep a large truck and its trailer significantly heightens the risk of a tragic incident on the road.
- Improper loading can lead to a truck jackknifing or even rolling over, posing increased dangers to other drivers. Additionally, spilled cargo on the road further exacerbates these risks.
When it comes to accidents involving commercial trucks, the stakes are high. Commercial trucking companies are known to employ tactics to diminish the value of your case, often attempting to shift the blame onto you. These cases are intricate and demand the expertise of a skilled, assertive, and effective commercial truck accident lawyer. If you have suffered severe injuries in a commercial truck accident caused by the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company, reach out to Strong Law today. Our team of dedicated attorneys is ready to assist you and offer sound legal advice at any of our conveniently located offices.