There are almost 9.5 million commercial vehicles in America. They perform vital tasks that greatly benefit the economy. However, commercial trucks are also involved in many serious accidents. Their immense weight often increases the number of injuries and the amount of destruction. Some trucks also carry liquid fuels or hazardous materials that can start fires and contaminate water. Truckers typically spend many more hours on the road than other drivers, raising the risk of fatigue.
Commercial Truck Accident Statistics
Statistics reveal that about 45 truck crashes occur each hour in the United States. Approximately 400,000 such accidents happen every year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Almost one out of five collisions involve rear-end impact. Each year, there are roughly 200 fatal accidents involving trucks with hazardous cargo. Although they constitute less than 1 percent of trucking accidents, these crashes usually cause more injuries and damage. They also prove costly for local and state authorities.
The federal government reported that almost 5,000 people died in commercial truck crashes during 2006. Such accidents caused nearly one out of eight traffic fatalities. Truck collisions also produced 106,000 injuries and 287,000 reports of damage. Although this type of accident causes fewer than 7 percent of injuries and damage, it’s important to recognize that the severity is often greater. Unlike a car, a large truck has the potential to crush other vehicles or destroy an entire building.
Reasons for Accidents
There are many different causes of commercial truck accidents. Truckers face major challenges that other drivers don’t experience. Trucks cannot start or stop moving as quickly as cars. They also have large blind spots. Bad weather and traffic violations cause many accidents. Some trucking firms and drivers seek to boost revenue by violating speed limits or hours-of-service rules. This often leads to driver fatigue. Truck components and trailer connections fail from time to time as well.
Roadway obstructions also cause commercial trucking accidents. Some crashes happen when a driver hits or tries to avoid a tall animal, such as a horse, cow or moose. Objects may fall out of a truck and strike other vehicles. Many accidents occur when car or truck drivers become distracted or intoxicated. Additionally, a few disreputable trucking firms employ amateur drivers who lack commercial licenses. These companies may also fail to perform drug tests or background checks.
Commercial truck accidents frequently result in serious injuries and damage to vehicles or structures. If you or a member of your family has been harmed in a trucking accident, you may have a legitimate legal claim. This could help you pay medical bills, recover lost income and repair damaged property. It may also lead to changes that prevent accidents in the future. To learn if you have adequate grounds for legal action, contact an experienced attorney. If necessary, he or she will help you initiate a lawsuit and obtain adequate compensation.