When a car and truck collide, the injuries to the people in the car are often devastating. The size difference and power behind a large truck means a crash can cause brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord damage or even death. One of the reasons for the number of deaths involving trucks is simply the large size of the vehicle. Another reason is that fatal truck incidents tend to involve multiple-vehicles, meaning each crash can result in multiple deaths. If you were injured, or a loved one was killed due to an accident involving a truck, please contact our Philadelphia truck accident lawyers today. For every case our attorneys take on, we seek the right settlement for you and your family, or we fight on your behalf in court.
Large Truck Crash Statistics
In 2012, over 100,000 people were injured in large truck crashes and 3,912 people died. Unfortunately, truck accidents increased between 2011 and 2012; fatalities increased 4 percent as well. Despite the fact that large trucks represent only 4 percent of all registered vehicles and 9 percent of total miles traveled, they accounted for 8 percent of fatal crashes. In Pennsylvania, there were a total of 1,808 vehicles involved in fatal crashes in 2012. Trucks comprised 175 of those vehicles, or 9.7%. The numbers decreased during 2013, but increased substantially in 2014. In 2013, there were 95,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks, with 3,964 fatalities. Unfortunately, this means that while the number of people injured decreased, the percentage of individuals killed actually increased. The numbers jumped in 2014, with 147,530 crashes involving trucks. This includes a staggering 6,683 truck crashes in PA. This represents the greatest number of such incidents in Pennsylvania since records have been kept. The number of major highways in Pennsylvania means that we have many trucks traveling through this area. This, in turn means we have a lot of accidents involving trucks. In fact, we are in the top 6 states for truck accidents in the United States.
What Causes Truck Crashes?
Truck accidents occur for many of the same reasons as car crashes, but there are a number of additional common reasons as well. Our lawyers in Philadelphia could determine the cause of your truck accident and take proper legal action.
Just like cars, trucks must be properly maintained. Failure to maintain trucks is a sign of negligence. A truck that cannot stop traveling downhill because of a brake failure can easily be a deadly weapon against everything in its path. Drivers should inspect their trucks frequently, make sure everything they can see is in good shape. Owners of trucks should be certain to conduct proper maintenance and inspection on their vehicles so they are road ready.
If a truck tailgates a car and rear-ends it, the damages are likely to be massive. Commercial vehicles cannot stop on a dime. Similarly, this means that car drivers should avoid tailgating trucks. Given the height of trucks off the ground, it is easy for a car to go under a truck instead of simply hitting it. Trucks also have a tendency to roll back downhill when they are stopped. If you get too close, they could easily roll right into you, causing a serious truck accident.
Some drivers are unwilling to drive behind a truck, so they cut it off or otherwise pass improperly. This is a sure-fire way to get in an accident, maybe even cause a truck to jackknife as it tries to avoid you. Make certain you can see the driver’s mirrors. If you cannot see his mirrors, he cannot see you. Similarly, truck drivers need to be aware of their blind spots and watch out for cars. Lower cars are especially difficult for truck drivers to see, resulting in many accidents.
Cautious truck drivers look behind their vehicles before they back up. But some drivers are not careful and they could easily hit your car. Don’t park too close to a truck and give it space whenever possible. Keep in mind that a truck driver may not be able to hear your horn, even if you lean on it.
Frequently, truck drivers are in a rush to get from one side of the country to another due to pressures of delivering product on time. This result in speeding or other dangerous behavior. Aggressive driving in any vehicle is dangerous. Aggressive driving in a truck can easily result in fatalities. Cars swooping around trucks are also likely to cause incidents.
Too many people drive while exhausted. Truck drivers are no exception. Again, there is great pressure to deliver products on time. In fact, the unfortunate and deadly accident involving comedian Tracy Morgan occurred because a driver was speeding, but also, because he had been awake for too many hours.
Liability in Truck Crashes
When a truck is involved in an accident, someone is generally responsible. It may be the truck driver or it may be the car, or even several cars. The negligent party or parties should be held responsible for the harm they caused. Whether you are a truck driver injured due to the carelessness of a car driver, or the driver or occupant of an automobile who was injured due to the negligence of a truck, you have the right top be compensated for your harm. This includes recovery for any financial losses as well as pain and suffering. Keep in mind, as a truck driver, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation as well as a third-party lawsuit against whoever caused the accident. A Philadelphia attorney could determine who may be liable in a truck accident case.
Contact a Philadelphia Truck Accident Attorney
Our Philadelphia truck accident lawyers are here to help. We could review your case and determine who is to blame and how you could recover compensation. For a free consultation, please contact us today.