Truck Accidents Cause 5,000 Deaths each year

Truck Accidents are a National Problem

truck accident, bus accident, commercial vehicle accident

Next time you are traveling down the highway pay attention to the trucks and buses on the road.  Do you see large commercial trucks or buses that are speeding?  Traveling too fast for the existing conditions or traffic flow?  Following too closely or even tailgating?  Swerving or passing when it is not safe?

The best way to avoid being involved in an accident with a large truck, semi or commercial vehicle is to get out of their way.  If passing a truck do so quickly when it is safe to pass.  Don’t let yourself drive along the side of a large truck for any amount of time.  If a commercial truck is passing you, slow down if possible to let the truck pass quickly.  If a large truck is following too closely, change lands if possible and get out of the trucks way.

Trucking accidents can be some of the most tragic and devastating collisions and constitute a national safety crisis for everyone who has to share the road with these large trucks.  Accidents involving large trucks or semi often result in serious personal injury and death. You may be surprised to learn just how often traffic accidents involving large trucks occur.

A trucking accident occurs when large trailers (10,000+ lbs.) collide with other vehicles or pedestrians. Around 500,000 trucking accidents occur every year in the United States. Of these, approximately 5,000 trucking accidents result in fatalities. In fact, one out of every eight traffic fatalities involves a trucking accident.

Trucking revenues totaled $610 billion last year and revenues are estimated to nearly double by 2015. While commercial trucking growth is good news for the trucking companies and the economy, it is bad news for the cars, vans and SUVs that share the road with these potentially lethal giants. In tractor trailer accidents, 98% of fatalities occur to the individuals in the passenger vehicles.

In 2008, the preliminary national crash facts were as follows:

Sixty-eight percent of all fatal truck accidents happened not in cities, but in rural regions. As high as 66% of all fatal truck accidents occurred in the day as opposed to night; weekends accounted for 78% of the total fatal truck accidents that took place in 2003.

Accidents occurring while a driver is under the influence or while intoxicated are at an epidemic level in the United States. Truck accidents are not exempt from this. Driving under the influence (DUI) is regarded as one of the leading causes of fatal truck accidents today.

Truck drivers and trucking companies should ensure well maintained trucks and disciplined driving. Owners of small vehicles and passenger cars can also learn the techniques of defensive driving in relation to trucks. With combined efforts, these high statistics can be reduced.

Truck drivers can slow down in work zones, keep their distance, be aware of their no-zones or blind spots,  maintain their vehicles and drive defensively. Drivers of passenger cars can avoid accidents with trucks by avoiding the blind spots around trucks. In addition, these drivers should avoid passing a truck on the right when the truck is turning right. Finally, observe a truck’s turn signals, you appropriate passing procedures, do not cut trucks off, and report dangerous driving to the proper authorities.

Although many new technologies are available to help prevent such truck accidents, some truck manufacturers and trucking companies choose to ignore them. Aiming to deliver their loads as quickly and inexpensively as possible, these companies place a greater emphasis on profit than on the safety of their staff, customers and the general public.

The safety issues involving the operation of commercial trucks are well known but they are not always followed. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations regarding fatigue, driving over the regulated hours of service and substance abuse, are routinely, repeatedly and intentionally violated.  Often truck drivers and trucking companies will alter driver’s logs or even keep two sets of logs.

Overall, 11 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2008 involved accidents with large trucks. The most common causes for these truck crashes were found to be driver fatigue and substance abuse – both of which the FMCSA specifically prohibits.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, we invite you to contact us for a free case review.  Attorney Brian Amick handles truck accident and commercial vehicle accident cases in Missouri, Kansas and other states.

Amick Law Firm LLC
Kansas City attorney Brian Amick has twenty years of experience handling serious personal injury and wrongful death cases
5600 NE Antioch Rd
Kansas City, Missouri,Missouri
Phone: 816-455-7600


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