Large semi-trucks cause a disproportionate number of traffic fatalities relative to their number on the road. A study was conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to study the causes of semi and large truck crashes. This study examined 120,000 serious truck crashes. It studied only large trucks with a gross weight over 10,000 pounds. This post will review those results.
Of the 120,000 truck crashes, the researchers determined that 963 crashes were serious and caused 249 fatalities and 1,654 injuries. 77 percent of the trucks were tractors hauling a trailer. 73 percent of the accidents were caused by the truck colliding with another vehicle.
Determining the exact cause of a crash is difficult. The events that lead to the crash could be days, months or even years in the making. Generally it is a combination of failures that results in the crash, rather than one fatal mistake.
For example, a fatigued driver may fall asleep at the wheel and crash into a passenger vehicle. At first blush (and for legal purposes) the driver is likely at fault. But what caused the truck driver to be fatigued? Most truck drivers work a long schedule which may not allow them sufficient time to rest. If this occurred, then it is possible that his employer or dispatcher may also be liable.
The study also identified speeding and alcohol as two other major contributors. And sometimes crashes can be attributed to multiple factors. For example a fatigued driver may react too slowly to an environmental danger, like a pothole, which causes the crash. The study found that, while external factors are difficult to control, improving driver training and allowing them sufficient time to rest should reduce the number of truck crashes.
If you were injured due to a truck driver's inattention or negligence then you may want to consult with a tort attorney. As discussed above, semi-trucks generally cause fatal or catastrophic injuries when they are involved in accidents. These injuries often result in expensive medical bills and have long-lasting effects throughout the injured person's life. An attorney can work in an effort to get you the compensation you need and deserve to cover those medical bills.