Due to the huge size, weight, and speed at which trucks and tractor-trailers travel on our nation’s highways, accidents involving motor vehicles, cars, trucks and trailers can be catastrophic or even fatal. Tracking down the proper entity, or just the proper insurance sources, can be frustrating. Also, there are numerous federal and state regulations that govern trucking activities and motor vehicle operation-often experts must be retained to properly discover the relevant violations. It is important to act quickly to secure and preserce evidence in a trucking related case, because the trucking companies collect evidence immediately and seize the advantage against unsophisticated consumer injury victims.
In 2003, 457,000 large trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds were involved in traffic crashes in the United States. That year, 4,669 trucks were involved in fatal traffic accidents resulting in 4,289 deaths. That statistic is similar to ten Boeing 747 jets crashing in a calendar year, killing all passengers.
Of the deaths that resulted from truck accidents involving large trucks, 78 percent were occupants in another vehicle, 8 percent were non-occupants, and only 15 percent were occupants of a large truck. Therefore, the majority of deaths as a result of fatal traffic accidents are the non-truck operators. Nonetheless, truck driver fatalities are also a significant safety concern.
The common causes of trucking wrecks are:
Deficient training of the driver
Improperly maintained brakes
Driving in poor visibility or traction conditions
Lack of driver experience
Speeding or Speed in excess of safe driving for conditions
Failure to yield the right of way
Aggressive driving behavior
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol
Improper required safety systems, reflectors, lights, and other warning devices
Failure of truck to install have under-ride protection or an under-guard.