Truck and Big Rig Accidents
Approximately 5,000 Americans are killed each year as a result of severe trucking accidents, a statistic that does not include passenger motor vehicles. The fatalities and injuries in truck accidents tend to be more extreme, given the vehicles’ large size and that they often collide with much smaller vehicles. When accidents happen, victims can find themselves devastated at the loss and overwhelmed by the prospect of taking on a large trucking company when seeking out compensation for the wreck.
How Truck Accidents Happen
Given the long hours truckers drive, as well as the incentives offered by reaching their destinations on or before deadline, when truck accidents do happen, they can often be prevented. By federal law, truckers must adhere to certain driving principles including:
- Maximum 14 hours on duty with minimum rest period of 10 hours
- Maximum 11 hours driving with minimum 10 hours rest
- 70 hour total duty limit per week with minimum 34 hours rest before getting back on the road
The new regulations were developed in 2014 after a study on truck drivers and fatigue by the Washington State University Sleep and Performance Research Center. They found that truck drivers who had at least two nighttime periods in each break showed less fatigue while driving, had fewer attention lapses, and better lane positioning than those who had just one nighttime period in each break.
Why Do Truck Accidents Happen?
In addition to driver fatigue and/or the refusal to adhere to federally mandated trucking guidelines, there are many other reasons truck accidents can happen, including:
- Truck drivers not following traffic signals, signs, or emergency sirens
- Truck drivers who are not properly trained
- Truck drivers who drive recklessly
- Truck drivers who are distracted by cell phones
- Truck drivers who are intoxicated on alcohol and/or another substance
- Violation of weight permits
- Poor vehicle maintenance
Truck Accidents Statistics
- The United States Department of Transportation estimates that over 500,000 truck accidents occur every year.
- Nearly 98% of of trucking accident deaths happen to the drivers of the other vehicle.
- Commercial trucks are involved in 2.4% of all car accidents.
- One person is injured or killed in a truck accident every 16 minutes.
- The states with the most trucking accidents are California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.
- 68% of truck accidents occur in rural areas.
- 68% of truck accidents occur during the day time and 78% occur on the weekends.
Truck Accident Lawsuits
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a truck accident, learn more about all of your legal options by calling us toll free at 888-902-6245 for a free consultation. With the help of an experienced truck accident attorney, you can seek out the compensation you are due.