When a gigantic piece of machinery like an 18-wheeler is coming at you, it can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and be 70 feet long. On dry pavement it takes considerably more road to come to a complete stop than a passenger car. If the pavement is wet, it can consume up to 50 percent more roadway to come to that complete stop. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Administration’s most recent figures, the number of large truck crash fatalities increased eight percent from 3,749 to 4,050 between 2014 and 2015. About 87,000 people were injured in truck crashes in 2015.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a large truck accident, or if a family member died in one, learn more by contacting us. You might be entitled to compensation for your damages.
Common causes of large truck accidents
No two large truck accidents are ever the same, but we certainly see some common patterns. Here are some typical causes of large truck crashes that we see time and time again.
Drowsy or fatigued driving
Drivers are under pressure to make timely deliveries. Some will ignore strict hours of services rules that have been put in place by the federal government. Drowsy or fatigued driving diminishes a driver’s reaction time and his ability to make sound judgments and decisions.
Distractions like mobile and navigational devices affect the manual, cognitive and sensory abilities of a driver in motion. Texting is the most dangerous form of distraction. As per the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, sending or reading a text takes five seconds while traveling at 55 mph. That’s equivalent to traveling the entire length of a football field blindfolded.
There’s a reason why law enforcement agencies write out speeding tickets. That’s to save lives. When an 80,000 pound piece of machinery is heading at you, the chances of severe injuries or death increase with every mile per hour. Imagine a passenger car being hit by an 80,000 pound truck at 55 mph.
18-wheelers have large blind spots all the way around them, and they’re far less maneuverable than passenger vehicles. Many crashes involve truckers making simple lane changes. They often forget to signal before making lane changes.
An inexperienced large truck driver can overestimate his ability to control, maneuver or stop a truck. This could be a result of poor training too. Learning how to safely operate a large truck takes years of experience.
Most large truck crashes involve severe, catastrophic or even fatal injuries. Insurance companies know that they can have substantial financial exposure as a result of one of these crashes, so they’ll try to shift some or all of the blame for the wreck over onto you. Never give an opposing insurance company a statement of any kind after a truck crash. Contact us for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation. If we’re retained, no legal fees are even due unless we obtain a settlement or verdict on your behalf.