When it comes to freeways and interstate highways, it seems like semi trucks and tractor-trailers are everywhere. In many ways, these vehicles are an integral part of the backbone of our nation’s economy, but in others, they are a source of great personal and societal expense. Due to the sheer size and mass of these vehicles, they are difficult to operate and are incredibly dangerous when involved in accidents. Last year alone, some 4,000 people were killed, and 104,000 were seriously injured in approximately 500,000 crashes involving large trucks (vehicles with a gross weight rating in excess of 10,000 lbs.), an increase of 4% compared to the preceding year.
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this issue is that the vast majority (over 83%) of large truck accident fatalities occur in the passenger vehicles hit by semi trucks and tractor-trailers, as opposed to the truck itself. This means that this is an issue that is important to all of us. Over the past several years, the number of trucks on U.S. roadways has increased substantially, but the number of deaths has remained fairly consistent. Our lawyers know that to continue to make trucking safer, we must all do our part; here are a few ways that we can all make a positive difference.
What Can Truck Drivers Do?-Truck drivers should take precautions to prevent operating their vehicle when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or when they are excessively tired. Many drivers are paid in accordance with their ability to meet strict deadlines, but it is important that they remember to do what is needed to watch out for themselves and everyone else on the road in the process.
What Can Truck Companies Do?-All trucking companies are trusted to take measures to ensure that their vehicles are well maintained and their drivers are thoroughly screened. That means setting responsible expectations for driving hours and educating employees on the most common causes of negligent large truck accidents.
What Can Passenger Vehicles Do?-While there is no remedy for the massive size difference at play in each truck accident, there are many ways in which you can reduce your chances of being involved in such a crash. Remember when driving near large trucks that they have huge blind spots, and if you can’t see the driver, they probably can’t see you either. Another crucial thing to remember is that trucks are far less responsive than smaller vehicles, and they cannot easily be maneuvered to avoid a collision at the last moment. Don’t make any sudden lane changes or cut off a truck, and be as predictable as possible to give truck drivers more time to safely react. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Legal Info)
The injuries suffered in these types of accidents are often severe and life altering in nature. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to take immediate legal action to recover compensation for your hardships. Our lawyers will help you recover fair and reasonable compensation for lost income, hospital bills, and all pain and suffering. If you have been a victim of a large truck accident, call our attorneys now for a free legal consultation to discuss your options.