Large semi-truck accidents are an ongoing problem in the United States. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 3,757 people were killed and 88,000 were injured in trucking accidents in 2011, a number that’s significantly higher than those from the previous year. Trucks are a common sight on highways and interstates, and their drivers are just as prone to making mistakes as the drivers of passenger vehicles, which can result in devastating accidents.
Negligent or drowsy truck drivers are dangerous on the roads
In 2010, there were 1,317 injuries resulting from truck crashes in Tennessee. While a large amount of these crashes occur on highways, where traffic is fast and large trucks can cause great damage, the danger isn’t limited only to high-speed interstates. For example, WMCTV reported on an accident last April in which a cement truck plowed into a funeral procession in Memphis. The truck driver, who didn’t notice the stopped traffic for the procession, wasn’t able to stop his vehicle in time and flipped his truck over onto a smaller car. Sadly, the woman in the other car was killed.
Truck driver negligence and fatigue are only a couple of factors in a long list of common accident causes, according to the FMCSA. Other common reasons for trucking accidents include:
- Prescription drug use or alcohol consumption.
- Driving too fast.
- Road conditions, such as weather or other accidents.
- Unfamiliarity with the area.
- Brake problems and other vehicle maintenance issues.
Additionally, large trucks have blind spots; smaller cars are easily overlooked, and a truck driver may not see the vehicles driving near him until it’s too late. The sheer size and speed of a semi-truck also means they need extra time and space to stop or maneuver on the road. Any combination of factors can result in a situation in which the driver is unable to avoid an accident.
Contacting an attorney
Most trucking accidents involve serious injuries, which can mean staggering medical costs for the victims. Funeral expenses are, unfortunately, another common cost resulting from a big rig crash. Families can find themselves facing many thousands of dollars in medical expenses, on top of their pain and heartbreak.
If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney with experience handling cases like these. You may be able to receive compensation for your expenses and injuries if the truck driver is found at fault.