Truck Accident Information and Tips
You share the road with them every day — commercial trucks. Whether you call them large trucks, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, big rigs, or tractor-trailers, the fact is there are a lot of these vehicles on the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that 8,456,302 single-unit trucks and 2,746,882 tractor-trailers (combination trucks) were registered for use in 2015. The number of registered commercial vehicles have increased during the previous two years.
The trucking industry is one of the most efficient and cost-effective forms of moving goods from one point to another in the United States. However, sharing the road with these vehicles can be extremely dangerous. A quick look at the statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals just how dangerous a large truck can be in an accident.
Truck Accident Statistics
Some of the statistics provided by the NHTSA for 2015 include:
- 4,067 people were killed in commercial truck accidents
- 116,000 people were injured in commercial truck accident
- Large truck fatalities increased by four percent from 2014 to 2015
- Injuries sustained in large truck crashes increased by four percent
- Only two percent of truck drivers involved in fatal accidents had a BAC level of .08 or higher
- 74 percent of the people killed in truck accidents were occupants of other vehicles, and 10 percent were non-occupants (i.e. pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.)
- 73 percent of people who were injured in truck crashes were occupants of other vehicles, and four percent were non-occupants (i.e. pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.)
You can read the remaining statistics on the NHTSA website, but you can see from the above numbers, commercial truck crashes result in thousands of deaths and injuries to individuals who were not in control of the truck.
Tips for Avoiding Commercial Truck Accidents
You cannot control what a truck driver does, but you can take steps to reduce your risk of being involved in a collision with one of these massive vehicles.
- Do not tailgate! You need to remain far enough behind the truck to see the side view mirrors on the cab of the truck. If you cannot see these mirrors, the driver cannot see you.
- Avoid a truck’s “no zones.” The “no zones” of a commercial truck are the truck’s blind spots. Drivers have limited visibility on all four sides of a truck because of its size. If your vehicle is in a blind spot, the truck driver cannot see your vehicle. The FMCSA has information about blind spots and a diagram on its website. Learn where the blind spots are on a commercial vehicle and avoid driving in those areas.
- Allow room when passing. Large, heavy trucks cannot stop as quickly as passenger vehicles. When you are passing a truck, leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the cab of the truck when pulling in front of the vehicle to avoid a rear-end collision.
- Give them room to turn. Trucks require a much larger area to turn than a passenger vehicle. Never try to cut off a truck that is making a right-hand turn. If you see a truck making a right-hand turn, slow down and wait until the truck completes the turn before proceeding.
For more tips for sharing the road safely with large trucks, visit the FMCSA’s website.
Injuries and Damages in Large Truck Crashes
As mentioned above, the majority of deaths and injuries in a truck crash are sustained by individuals outside of the truck. A large cab provides more protection in a crash than the small area of a passenger vehicle. Therefore, traumatic and life-threatening injuries are common in commercial truck accidents. Common injuries include:
- Head and brain injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Burns, scarring, and disfigurement
- Fractures and broken bones
- Internal bleeding and damage to internal organs
- Soft tissue damages
The financial cost incurred from injuries can be astronomical. In addition, victims suffer enormous emotional stress and physical pain because of the accident. Under our personal injury laws, you are entitled to recover compensation for your damages. While a monetary judgment cannot undo the pain you have suffered, it can pay for necessary medical and personal care.
Because truck accident cases can involve multiple parties and complex federal laws and regulations, it is best to consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer. Our attorneys have the experience and resources you need when filing a claim for injuries sustained in a commercial truck crash.