Trucks and other large commercial vehicles pose serious risks to the cars around them. Trucking accidents involving smaller cars often result in serious injuries and high fatality rates. Often these accidents are caused by fatigued truckers driving recklessly to meet deadlines. Truck accidents can also occur when trucks are not properly loaded, when their equipment is not well maintained, or when drivers lack the training and experience to handle the vehicle.
Dangers of Large Trucks
There are close to 2 million semi-trucks operating in the United States, with over 3.2 million truck drivers operating them. These large trucks usually only make up about 5% of all highway vehicles. They are most often found on the interstate highway systems and on the most crowded sections of these highways large trucks can make up one out of every four vehicles.
Though semi-trucks are only 15% of all commercial trucks, they travel more than 43% of all miles covered by trucks. Higher amounts of miles on the road means higher risks of car-truck accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2012 there were 333,000 traffic accidents involving a commercial truck. Those accidents resulted in 104,000 injuries and 3,921 fatalities. Drivers and passengers of personal vehicles involved in trucking accidents are 98% more likely to be killed than a driver or passenger of the large truck.
In Tennessee, trucks can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Collisions with these massive vehicles often results in serious, life-long injuries for victims, including severe brain damage, burns, and serious spine injuries.
Causes of Trucking Accidents
Accidents involving trucks and large commercial vehicles are often caused by:
- Reckless driving
- Driver fatigue
- Vehicle equipment defects
- Improper storage of the truck's cargo (poor loading and balance)
- Driving too fast
- Tire blowouts
- Brake failures
- Failing to use mirrors or failing to see smaller vehicles
- Jackknifing (skidding trucks)
- Dangerous driving conditions (like fog or snow)
- Drunk driving
Most trucking accidents can be avoided when truck drivers comply with safety laws.
Truck Accident Liability
There are many layers of responsibility for trucks and the cargo they carry. If a truck caused an accident, liability for injuries can belong to:
- The truck driver
- The company that owns the truck
- The company or driver that leased the truck from the owner
- The manufacturer of the truck (if faulty equipment caused the accident)
- The company or person who loaded and stored the truck's cargo
Because of the serious nature of injuries from trucking accidents, truck drivers are required to have insurance with higher liability limits. Truckers may also be covered my multiple insurances if the blame is shared by multiple parties, like the driver and the company.
Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
To increase your chances of procuring a substantial settlement, you should contact an attorney that specializes in trucking accidents. The Law Offices of Luvell L. Glanton understands the complicated details of trucking accident cases and has a track record of obtaining substantial settlements for our clients. We understand the life-long effects injuries can have on victims and their families.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury as a result of a trucking accident, call our offices today at 615-244-4511 for a free consultation.