Trucking Accidents

Trucking accidents can be some of the most deadly crashes on the road. Half a million truck accidents occur in the United States each year. They occur when a large truck (10,000 lbs. or more) collides with another vehicle or pedestrians. Because these crashes involve such a massive piece of machinery, they are often very expensive accidents and can easily turn fatal. It is important to retain a lawyer if involved in a trucking accident to ensure that due compensation is collected from everyone at fault in the accident.

Around 500,000 crashes involving a large truck occur each year; approximately 5,000 of these accidents result in fatalities. Most of the injuries and deaths in trucking accidents occur to the passengers of other vehicles. Often, truck drivers are able to walk away from accidents with little harm. Because of the size of trucks, there is usually considerable property damage as a result of truck accidents. In 1999, the average cost per large truck crash involving property damage was $11,300, and the average cost per large truck crash involving an injury was $217,005. These sums add up to a significant amount when the large number of truck crashes each year is considered.

Trucking accidents can occur because of negligence on the part of either the truck driver or the other driver. Trucks have unique characteristics that require special alertness from both the truck driver and the driver of any vehicle in the vicinity of the truck. The large blind spots, size and weight of the vehicles hinder the focus of truck drivers who can suffer from road fatigue. Special care must be taken when driving near large trucks. Speeding was one of the main factors involved in many truck crashes. In fact, speeding was a factor in 20% of fatal trucking accidents in 1999.

Especially dangerous is the type of crash known as “under-riding.” This occurs when a large truck stops in front of another vehicle that does not have enough time to stop. When this happens, the car actually drives under the truck, causing the passenger compartment to impact the rear end and, if the car is going fast enough, slice it off. 98% percent of car occupants die in under-ride crashes. Though under-ride protection is available, flimsy federal standards mean than many trucks on the road do not have adequate protection to stop under-ride accidents.

In fact, many standards in the trucking industry are inadequate. There is no national standard for truck drivers to even receive formal training, and, as a result, many truck drivers on the road have been insufficiently prepared to drive such a powerful piece of machinery. Licensing programs are not up to par and vary differently from state to state, which makes it possible for drivers who have proven to be incompetent to stay on the road. Government has failed to adequately police the trucking industry, and ,consequently, there are truck drivers on the road who should not be operating such deadly vehicles.

If involved in an automobile accident with a truck, it is important to retain a good lawyer who will protect your legal rights to compensation. Not only the driver, but the trucking company and the larger corporation who commissioned the trucking company may be liable for the accident, and a lawyer will help you get what is rightfully yours in compensation for the accident.