Why are Truck Accidents so Deadly?
By Space Coast Daily // June 8, 2022
Typically, trucks are extremely heavy, have longer stopping distances, and have taller profiles. These factors make large trucks especially deadly in road-going truck accidents. Many trucks travel on highways and freeways at high speeds. The faster any vehicle moves, the potentially deadlier any accident will be.
Truck Accident Injuries Often Are Catastrophic and Costly
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says police-reported accidents involving large trucks numbered about 510,000 in 2019, including 4,479 fatal accidents. That accounts for about1% of reported accidents.
About 114,000 accidents with big trucks caused injuries. That accounts for about 29% of all trucking accidents.
This shows that only one-third of large truck accidents result in physical harm.
If you get in an accident with a truck, we recommend seeking the help of an experienced truck accident attorney after you receive medical attention. If the accident was truly the truck driver’s fault, you may be eligible for a large sum of compensation. The Bagen Law Accident Injury Lawyers firm based in Gainesville, Florida recently settled a $2.5 million award for a truck accident victim who suffered severe leg injuries when a semi-truck driven by a drunk driver struck his vehicle.
Surviving an accident with a big rig isn’t easy! The personal injuries suffered often are catastrophic and life changing. These include:
■ Traumatic brain injuries
■ Amputations of limbs or appendages
■ Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
■ Burn injuries
■ Blunt force trauma to the head or body
Weight and Speed Make Large Trucks Dangerous
A typical large truck weighs anywhere from about 10,000 pounds to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. In comparison, the average family car weighs approximately 4,000 pounds.
This weight difference means that when a truck smashes into a smaller vehicle, it is the smaller vehicle, those inside that vehicle, that suffer the most.
What Makes Big Trucks Deadly in Accidents?
Big rigs with heavy loads require a much longer distance to stop safely. You need to give big trucks far more space than you would another vehicle because they can’t stop as fast.
A commercial truck has much larger tires and a much taller cabin and bed than a typical car. In a collision, a truck’s center of gravity demolishes the passenger area of most cars. That can be especially deadly.
Tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks have large blind spots when traveling and rely on side mirrors to see vehicles on either side or behind them.
With such large blind spots, truck drivers often cannot see smaller vehicles in their vicinity. Drivers of smaller vehicles need to pay attention and pass quickly to prevent traveling in a blind spot of a big rig.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
Driver fatigue is the most common cause of accidents that involve large trucks, making up 13% of trucking accidents. Getting a good amount of rest between driving shifts is vital, fatigue can easily lead to an accident-causing error.
Other leading causes of large truck accidents include:
■ Distracted Drivers,
■ Rear-End Collisions,
■ Left Turn Violations,
■ Running Red Lights and Stop Signs,
■ Failure to Yield,
■ Big Truck Roll-Overs,
■ Unsafe Lane Changes,
■ Exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for road conditions,
■ Drug or alcohol use,
■ Defective equipment,
■ Cargo loaded unevenly, and
■ Improper lane changes.
Potential Issues with Truck Accident Claims
Commercial trucks might be owned, leased, maintained, or driven by different parties making liability from an accident sometimes complex. There could be many potentially liable parties.
If a truck is owned, maintained, and driven by workers for the same employer, that simplifies matters. But when multiple parties are responsible for putting a commercial truck on the road, you will need the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer to help sort all the possible liability claims.