While we often see and share the roads with large trucks, it is often overlooked how dangerous trucks can be. Significantly larger than typical cars, they pose much larger risks for severe, catastrophic or even deadly results when involved in an accident.
A truck can weigh as much as 20-30 times more than a standard passenger car. With a tractor trailer of loaded cargo, a truck could take as much as 20-40 percent longer to stop than a car. Trucks are also vulnerable to dangerous crosswinds and in poor weather may hydroplane or jackknife, causing an accident.
Truck drivers are often subjected to long and dangerous shifts. Often they will exceed federal regulations and drive even beyond their maximum time permitted. Federal law allows truck drivers to drive up to 11 hours in one shift and up to 77 hours through the course of a week. It is not uncommon that driver fatigue is found to have played a role in commercial vehicle accidents.
Statistics also show just how dangerous truck accidents can be as well as the frequency in which they occur. In 2015 alone, 3,852 Americans died on the road in a truck accident, a vast majority of whom were not the drivers or passengers of the truck. Only 16 percent of the fatalities were truck occupants, 15 percent were pedestrians, motorcyclists or bike riders, and 69 percent were either the driver or passenger of a car. Such alarming stats should provide a reminder for anyone who enters the road. Anyone involved in a truck accident may want to consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer to determine whether they could be entitled to compensation for their injuries.
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, “Large Trucks,” Accessed May 29, 2017