Motor Vehicle Accidents Trucking Accidents
From carrying produce to grocery stores to shipments to retailers and more, the trucking industry is an integral part of our nation’s economy. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the trucking industry moved $66.6 billion worth of goods across North America in 2018 alone. This was a 5.3% increase over the previous year. As the nation’s population grows, so does the demand for more goods transported by trucks.With more than two million 18-wheelers on roads and highways across the country, the trucking fleet is a dominant player in roadway accident statistics. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported 4,136 people were killed in truck accidents in 2018 alone. Of these deaths 16% were truck drivers or occupants, 67% were passenger vehicle occupants, and 15% were pedestrians or cyclists. Given the sheer size of a large truck, few other vehicles can withstand a collision without serious injury or death.
Causes of Large Truck Accidents
Large truck accidents can quickly turn fatal due to their weight, size, and the severity of 18-wheeler and tractor trailer accidents. Large trucks can turn a road into a warzone in the blink of an eye due to driver negligence or faulty truck parts. Because of this, safety precautions, routine inspection and maintenance, and driver training are crucial to keeping roads and highways across the country safe for all drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists. Unfortunately, trucking companies and drivers still regularly cause preventable and senseless big rig accidents.
Operating any motor vehicle requires attention and quality training, but operating a large truck requires additional responsibility due to its ability to inflict catastrophic injuries and death. Truck drivers are often required to move cargo over long distances within tight deadlines, and if they do not follow safety guidelines regarding rest stops, drivers can become fatigued and lose consciousness and control of their vehicles. The IIHS conducted a study that found truck drivers behind the wheel for longer than eight hours are twice as likely to crash or cause an accident.
Defective equipment causes numerous trucking accidents. The most common defective trucking equipment is faulty braking mechanisms. In a post-crash analysis of large truck accidents, IIHS found almost 55% of trucks had at least one mechanical violation and 30% had at least one violation serious enough to take the truck out of service. When trucking companies and drivers fail to routinely inspect their trucks and cargo equipment, they risk the lives of all who share the road with them.
Because of their size and the force of impact inflicted by large trucks in a crash, trucking safety depends on the truck’s mechanical systems and tie downs functioning properly. A truck carrying a cargo load that is unable to stop due to malfunctioning brakes could cause a fatal accident in mere seconds. Additionally, trucks that lack proper tie downs for cargo could cause devastating accidents if cargo becomes loose on the roadway. Other causes of trucking accidents include:
- Improper weight load
- Improper lane change
- Driver intoxication
- Road debris
- Loose cargo
- Road construction
- Malfunctioning lights
- Improper stopping distance
Trucking accidents are serious events with the power to inflict catastrophic injury and death. Trucking companies and their drivers have a responsibility to safely transport cargo without endangering the lives of others on the road. If you or a loved one is a victim of a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact experienced and knowledgeable truck accident attorney John Flood who can effectively fight for your rights and compensation.