Big Rig Accidents in Vermont
Large trucks are a necessity to provide goods across the country. Yet, big rigs can cause serious and fatal accidents on our roadways. In Vermont, the legal size of a large truck is specified at 75 feet in length, 8 feet 6 inches wide and 13 feet 6 inches tall. The maximum load cannot exceed more than 600 pounds per inch of tire weight based on the manufacturer’s designations. The axle weight has to be in line with federal bridge formula.
The total number of crashes reported in Vermont in 2015 was 14,116, the highest number of crashes since 2006. In 2015 there was an increase of 1,390 crashes from the previous year. Deaths on the roadways also increased. There were 57 deaths in 2015, an increase over 44 reported in 2014. These deaths occurred in a total of 50 fatal collisions.
Of the fatal accidents that happened in 2015, only 9 occurred in urban settings while 48 happened in rural areas. A total of 4,311 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2015, which is more than 8% higher than 2014. The number of nationwide crashes reached a peak in 2005 and then started to drop. However, the accidents and fatalities have generally again been on the rise over the last few years.
Speed is a factor in many fatal and non-fatal collisions. A speed-related fatality is one that happened when the driver was cited for driving too fast for conditions or exceeding the posted speed limit. In 2013 there were 18 speed-related fatalities, which was a decrease over previous years. However, speed continues to remain a problem that can cause serious crashes.
Overall, fatal collisions have remained somewhat steady over the last several years with an increase last year. Most of these incidents happened on arterial roads located in rural areas. These areas may be less well lit at night and are typically only two lanes. These roadways are more prone to accidents in general.
While the smallest percentages of accidents usually happen on highways, they are most often associated with large truck crashes. These accidents are most likely to result in serious injuries and deaths. The size and weight of a truck can cause extreme damage to passenger vehicles, even when impacted at relatively low speeds. Additionally, truck drivers could be distracted or drowsy at the wheel. This may lead to traffic incidents and deaths due to inattentiveness.