The Sobering Statistics of Commercial Truck Accidents
The average weight of a passenger vehicle is 3,000 pounds and is simply no match for such large trucks. The statistics support this. Over 86% of those killed in large truck accidents are passengers in smaller vehicles.
Commercial truck accident statistics are sobering. When people share the road with large commercial trucks, they are generally aware of the imposing danger of these vehicles, but not aware of the actual number of accidents that occur every year. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports on accident statistics every year, and these reports remind us how prevalent accidents with large vehicles are, and how arming ourselves with more information on how to stay safe and what to do in the event of an accident are ways to protect ourselves. Knowing what to do and who to contact after an accident with a large truck is also extremely important.
Large commercial vehicles – vehicles weighing 10,000 or more pounds – are involved in accidents approximately 500,000 times a year. Accidents usually happen in rural areas, and usually during the daytime, under normal driving conditions. And of these 500,000 accidents about 5,000 end up being fatal, almost always for the passengers or drivers in the smaller vehicle. The drivers of large commercial trucks are much more protected because of the size of the truck they are in. They often end up walking away from the accident, uninjured. And because of their size, accidents involving these large vehicles are also more likely to involve multiple vehicles, which increases the likelihood of fatalities or serious injuries.
One of the leading causes of fatal truck accidents is truck drivers operating their vehicles while intoxicated or under the influence. Other common causes are failure to stay in the correct lane, excessive speed, failure to yield, being inattentive, or cell phone use. The idea of so many drivers driving with negligence or under the influence is very scary. Individuals can protect themselves with defensive driving techniques and taking as many precautions as possible, but avoiding accidents is not always possible.
A recent case, December 16 of 2012, a tow truck driver of Scarsdale, N.Y., was arrested at 1:00 a.m. for driving while intoxicated. Stevenson was driving under the influence and hit five parked cars with his large vehicle. He was briefly treated for injuries at the hospital and then released into police custody. It was discovered that he had a prior conviction within the last ten years, and he was charged with first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, both charges are classified as class E felonies. Thankfully in this situation no one else was injured. But accidents similar to this one can occur and sometimes those involved are not so fortunate.
If you or a loved one has experienced an accident with a large truck and has been injured or there has been a death, contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Truck accident attorneys who are experienced in dealing with truck accidents understand what details to look for, how to uncover and protect evidence, and what settlement amounts to ask for. Truck drivers who compromise the safety of other drivers on the road by pushing their own limits or committing acts of negligence need to be held responsible, as does the trucking company, so that further incidents can be avoided.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James M. Hoffmann
James M. Hoffmann concentrates his practice in workers compensation and personal injury. He has a successful record of trying cases, mediating cases, arbitrating cases and obtaining settlements for injured workers, victims of car accidents, truck accidents, and other similar personal injury cases.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.