However, the weight and size of semi-trucks make these accidents with regular passenger vehicles extremely dangerous and even often fatal. While it is difficult to come up with a percentage of accidents caused by semi trucks, there are still factors to consider in the the causes of crashes involving large trucks.
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According to the National Safety Council, there were 4,842 large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2020, a 33% increase since 2011. In fact, semi-trucks account for approximately 9% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes in 2020.
It looks like the upward trend of fatal truck accidents continues into 2021. According to early figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal accidents involving large trucks have increased by 13% from 2020.
However, large truck crashes are still not as common as passenger vehicle collisions. Data shows that the majority of motor vehicle crash deaths occur among passenger vehicle occupants, such as cars, minivans, pickup trucks, SUVs, and large passenger vans. Statistics from 2020 have found that 56% of passenger vehicle driver deaths were the car driver, 20% were pick up drivers, and 23% were SUV drivers.
The most dangerous type of truck accident for large truck occupants is a rollover accident. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, 50% of large truck occupant deaths in 2020 occurred when their vehicle had rolled over. This was a higher percentage than SUV and pickup occupant deaths, and much higher than those in rollover car accidents.
Though the size of vehicles involved in a truck accident versus motor vehicle accidents may differ, these accidents still share common causes. This can include:
However, despite being similar, these causes have different repercussions when semi-trucks are involved.
For example, when a small car drives on local roads that are not well maintained, a swerve may not result in a fatal accident. However, when a semi-truck driver does not drive carefully on these roads and has a loaded trailer in tow, there could be a rollover accident with fatalities.
On major roads and highways, if traffic backs up abruptly, a car requires a much shorter amount of time and distance to slow or stop the vehicle. A truck driver will need to have perfect control of the rig and a long stretch of road to slow the vehicle down. If other vehicles are in the way, or they cannot stop, fatal truck accidents can occur.
No two big rig accidents are the same. There are certain injuries that result from accidents involving these dangerous vehicles. Common injuries resulting from a truck accident include:
These injuries may not be apparent right away; you need to keep documentation of the medical treatment and care you received.
Whether they are motor vehicle accidents involving a passenger vehicle driver or a large truck company, your attorney will work to establish liability.
When large trucks are involved, the truck driver, the trucking company, and related insurance companies will want to disprove any negligence on their clients’ or employees’ part. A truck accident lawyer will be able to determine who truly is at fault and help you navigate the liability laws in your state.
The first step in determining liability is establishing negligence. This means you will need to prove the following occurred:
Once negligence has been established, it will be time to determine who was at fault. These do not occur separately as your truck accident lawyer pieces together the accident, it will become apparent who was negligent. Potential at-fault parties include:
Depending on who is at fault in your truck accident claim will determine the damages you can collect. In most truck crashes, you will be able to recover damages from the insurance company and potentially another liable party for:
In the case of wrongful death, you may be able to recover losses for your loved one.
Accidents happen but when a large truck is involved in a collision, you need someone to take on the trucking industry on your behalf.
A respected truck accident attorney at Regan Zambri Long will get the best results possible for your case. Find out how we can help you with your truck accident case in a free, no-obligation consultation. Schedule your free consultation by calling (202) 960-4746 or completing our online form.