The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 2.4 million people were injured while driving on U.S. roads in 2015. Over 10% of these accidents involved large trucks, or a truck weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Of these accidents, 24,000 resulted in at least one injury.
Causes of Truck Accidents
- Drug use – This is one of the leading causes of truck accidents in the nation. Whether illegal street drugs, prescriptions, or even over the counter medications, by law truckers may not take any substance that could impair their driving while they plan to get behind the wheel.
- Speeding – In order to meet deadlines, many truckers find themselves exceeding the posted speed limits. This is especially dangerous given the size and limited mobility of most commercial trucks.
- Getting lost – Truck drivers are often asked to drive to locations unknown to them, which can be confusing. However, too many drivers will not stop or pull over to assess where they are and where they are going, instead choosing to “look as they drive” which puts other drivers in danger.
- Failure to check blind spots – Because trucks are several dozen feet long, there are large and frequent blind spots. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to check all blind spots properly before switching lanes, which often causes vehicular collisions.
- Fatigue – Much like speeding, truck drivers trying to meet deadlines can go without the necessary rest when taking to the road, which impairs judgment, reaction time, and can even lead to big rig drivers falling asleep at the wheel.
- Distracted driving – With more and more devices hitting the market, truck drivers are just as susceptible to being distracted by a text message, phone call, etc. when on the road, despite the fact that it is forbidden for them to drive in a distracted manner.
Truck Accident Statistics Involving Fatalities and Injuries
- To be considered a “large truck,” a vehicle must weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds. However, trucks can legally weigh up to 81,400 pounds in the state of Texas, with other states having similar requirements.
- Large trucks make up only 4% of vehicles driven on U.S. roads, but they account for approximately 13% of all vehicular fatalities (2015).
- In 2012 approximately 30,000 people died in traffic accidents and over 10% of these (3,921) were truck accidents.
- 73% of all truck accident injuries occurred to the occupant(s) of the other vehicle, and others outside the truck sustained 3% of injuries.
Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck accident with an 18-wheeler, big rig, or other large truck, please contact Dax F. Garza, P.C. to discuss your case at no charge.