Any motor vehicle collision has the potential to cause severe injuries to those who are involved. However, collisions between commercial trucks, like tractor trailers, and passenger vehicles can be particularly devastating, especially for the occupants of the smaller vehicles.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), about 4,000 people died in crashes involving large trucks in 2018. 67% of those people were the occupants of passenger vehicles. The other deaths included truck occupants, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists.
What causes trucking crashes?
Motorists can minimize their risk of being in a trucking accident by staying out of truck blind spots, passing safely and other habits. However, some trucking collisions may be out of a motorist’s control. IIHS reports that two of the most common factors in truck crashes include truck breaking capabilities and truck driver fatigue.
Many people do not realize that it can take tractor-trailers 20-40% farther than cars to come to a stop. A truck’s breaking capability may be even worse if the breaks are defective or not properly maintained. Road conditions, like slick surfaces, could also contribute.
When it comes to fatigue, there are rules in place to prevent drivers from becoming too tired to drive safely. Federal hours-of-service regulations allow truckers to drive up to 11 hours at a time. However, many truck drivers violate these rules by working longer hours than they should. When someone is too tired to drive, his or her driving abilities may become impaired, and he or she risks falling asleep at the wheel.
If a trucking collision causes you or a loved one to receive serious injuries, you may have options seek financial compensation. It is possible to hold truck drivers and truck companies accountable if their negligent actions cause you or a loved one harm.