Truck accidents are on the rise and the number of fatalities from these collisions has also increased every year. In 2016, 3,986 people died in crashes involving large trucks with the majority of these deaths (66 percent) consisting of passengers in other vehicles. By comparison, the number of deaths from truck accidents was 26 percent higher in 2016 than 2009. Because trucks typically weigh 20-30 times more than passenger vehicles, a truck collision often has dire consequences for the passenger vehicles involved in the crash.
To reduce truck accidents, it is necessary to understand why they occur. Trucker error plays a considerable role in many collisions leading to serious injury and death. More stringent regulatory efforts are under way to address factors related to trucker error, such as fatigue and prescription medication use. Another significant source of truck accidents is malfunctions in truck construction, design or operation. The following are the most significant factors contributing to truck accidents nationally.
Faulty brakes. Brake problems, which can result in serious and fatal accidents, are one of the most common causes of collisions. Because trucks are so much larger and heavier than most other vehicles, the braking system does not operate with the same efficiency and speed that it would in a passenger vehicle. A large truck takes a lot longer to come to a complete stop even when the brakes are fully applied.
Worn tires. Trucks outfitted with old and worn tires face the risk of skidding and crashing, particularly in inclement weather situations. If truck drivers do not maintain an adequate distance from other drivers, this could result in a severe collision sometimes involving many vehicles. Trucking companies may want to keep costs down by re-treading old tires rather than completely replacing them. Re-treading old tires that are already unevenly worn can result in the disintegration of the outer layer, which raises the risk of a tire detaching while the driver is operating the truck.
Cargo movement. Load shifting is a common cause of trucking accidents. Cargo that is not secured properly and safely can move significantly in transit. Shifting cargo can result in a number of accidents including rollovers and jackknifing. There are extensive regulations related to truck loads, weight restrictions, and securing cargo under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If the rules are not strictly followed, then the load can shift in transit and come loose, posing significant risks to other drivers.
If you or a member of your family suffered injury or death as a result of negligence or a defective automobile, contact the attorneys Alexander Law Group, LLP. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will answer your questions and get you the maximum compensation that is possible. Call 888.777.1776 or contact us online.