Truck Accidents Lead to Many Traffic Deaths: Up to 10% of All Traffic Accident Fatalities Involve Commercial Trucks
It is an unfortunate reality that accidents involving large trucks are almost never “fender benders.” Because large trucks commonly weigh as much as 30 times more than a car, and because they sit high enough to cause a passenger car to slide underneath, such accidents almost always result in serious injuries or death to the victims. And in most cases, those victims are usually riders in passenger vehicles.
Victims of crashes involving large trucks make up approximately 10 percent of the total number of all motor vehicle deaths. In 2011, of the 3,373 people who were killed in all crashes involving large trucks, 66% were car passengers. Only 16% were truck passengers, with another 16% being pedestrians or riders of bicycles or motorcycles. In crashes involving a car and a large truck, 98% of those killed were in the car.
Because of the way large trucks are designed, their weight and their sheer size, trucks that are fully loaded need between 20-40% more room to stop than a typical passenger vehicle; even more when a road is wet or icy. Truck drivers must always be aware of their surroundings and as alert as possible. Because truck driver fatigue is a known crash risk, drivers are limited by federal regulations to drive no more than 11 hours at a stretch, followed by a required 8-hour break, and no more than 77 hours over a seven-day period.
Even though federal and state agencies closely monitor a truck driver’s sleep and work shifts, there are a number of surveys indicating that many drivers violate those regulations and work longer than permitted, anyway. Oftentimes, when an accident happens involving a large truck, the trucking company’s work logs tell the story about how well the driver obeyed federal guidelines.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed as the result of an accident involving a large truck, 18-wheeler, dump truck, or other large commercial vehicle, it is important to get help quickly to protect your rights. Trucks, nowadays, have a lot of electronic data stored in DDEC, QUALCOMM, or other tracking systems that can be critical evidence to show why or how an accident occurred. You must act quickly to ensure this information is not altered or destroyed. Immediately contact the Texas Trucking Accident Lawyers at Ramsey Hill for advice, and to make sure everyone’s rights are protected.