According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are nearly 500,000 truck accidents in the United States each year. Approximately 130,000 people are injured and 5,000 people are killed each year as a result of these accidents. In 98 percent of fatal truck accidents, the people killed were in a passenger vehicle, not a truck.
FMCSA Causation Study
There is no doubt that truck accidents are a problem on our nation’s highways. For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has studied what most commonly causes truck accidents in order to help prevent them. According to the FMCSA, some of the most common causes of truck accidents are:
- Driver fatigue: although federal hours of service rules dictate that truck drivers rest a certain amount of time in between working hours, many drivers push themselves to exhaustion to meet unrealistic deadlines.
- Vehicle maintenance: commercial trucks are complex machines and they require a great deal of maintenance to keep them in safe operating condition. A failure to repair or maintain a truck’s brakes, for example, can render the vehicle unsafe for the highway.
- Truck driver training and experience: although truck drivers must have a commercial drivers license, not all drivers have the training and experience necessary to handle safely all kids of loads or even weather conditions.
The Stakes Are High
The facts are simple: trucks are larger, heavier, and more difficult to maneuver and stop than passenger vehicles. When a truck is traveling at high speeds, there is little room for error. Although federal rules do address issues such as driver fatigue, there is always more that can be done. And, unfortunately, no matter what the rules, there will always be those who fail to follow them.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer or other large commercial truck, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney can assess your case and help you get the compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering you deserve. For more information, contact an attorney today.