The Dangers of Trucking Accidents
February 24, 2016 @ 9:32 am
Updated on: March 5, 2021
Accidents involving large trucks usually make the news – in Louisiana and nationwide. Human error involving these large vehicles often results in disaster:
- A truck’s typical legal weight limit is at least 80,000 pounds, that’s 40 to 50 tons versus your car’s typical 4,000 to 5,000 pounds.
- Trucks can be up to 80 feet long. They’re also 13 to 14 feet tall.
- Trucks take 40 percent longer to come to a stop; for every 10 seconds a car needs, heavy-duty trucks need another 4.
- Long-haul truck drivers drive 11 hours at a stretch, 77 hours over 7 days.
- A tractor alone, traveling bobtail, may be more dangerous without the trailer.
Odds Against Passenger Vehicles
Large trucks account for just 4 percent of all vehicles registered. However, they’re involved in 10 percent of accidents resulting in serious injuries or fatalities, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety data. Of the fatalities in those crashes:
- Truck occupants make up 16 percent.
- Motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians make up 15 percent.
- Passenger vehicle occupants make up 68 percent.
Typical Trucking Accident
The National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) found that the majority of accidents involving large trucks occur on weekdays in rural areas, especially on two-lane roads lacking controls like dividers, lights or signs. Most accidents did not occur at a road junction, and an alarming number of accidents are front-to-front collisions, with half of those head-on.
Fault and Failure
A police report is essential as it indicates factors that contributed to the accident. NCSA found that 70 percent of the reported vehicle factors, cited by the investigating officer, were attributed to a large truck. Many times, braking systems are at fault, but other inadequate or non functioning components, substandard maintenance, excessive weight or simple neglect may be the cause.
Most truck driver issues fall within three categories: speeding, fatigue and failure to yield. Truck drivers were cited for these slightly more than a quarter of the time. Also keep in mind that the greatest number of crashes occur in the first hour of truck driving following an 8-hour break.
If a car and a loaded tractor-trailer collide while each travels 40 miles per hour, the force of impact is equivalent to being struck by 170 tons. Accelerate each to 65 miles per hour, and force of impact escalates to nearly 280 tons. With a truck’s high center of gravity, rollovers increase dramatically with greater load weights and speeds. In contrast, jack-knifing increases with trailer length and lighter weights. Regardless, when 85,000 pounds collide, physical evidence is present.
Personal Injury Compensation
When harmed, victims of large-truck collisions have rights to compensation beyond a mere vehicle. You are entitled to a financial settlement addressing personal injury damages – injury to your body and mind. In fact, you have the right to receive payment to cover any and all monetary losses you suffered or continue to endure because of someone else’s failure to act reasonably.
Unfortunately, victims often don’t receive what’s owed them unless they ask, and all too often they don’t know what to ask for. Trucking companies maintain corporate-level insurance and legal representatives. Their focus is to minimize expenses in order to maximize profit margins. Meanwhile, victims:
- Face hefty medical bills.
- Need expensive extended care.
- Lose wages.
- Are unable to earn a living in the future.
- Require psychological assistance.
The Assistance You Need
These are all expenses that the trucking company should pay for. Alone, you may have little chance against the corporate insurance machine. However, thanks to the trial attorneys at Morrow, Morrow, Ryan, Bassett & Haik, you don’t have to stand alone.
We specialize in personal injury and maritime law because we believe clients and their families have a right to be treated fairly. We’ve proudly served St. Landry Parish and many other communities throughout Louisiana for over four decades, securing verdicts and settlements for clients at state and federal levels because we don’t give up. Treat yourself fairly by using only the best representation. If you’ve been involved in a trucking accident, contact Morrow, Morrow, Ryan, Bassett & Haik online, or call us at 800-356-6776. We understand that you have people depending on you, so you can depend on us.