Many fatalities in large truck accidents are the result of differences in size and weight between a commercial truck or bus and a passenger vehicle.
The height of most trucks is much higher than smaller vehicles, which can slip right underneath them. Trucks can weigh up to 30 times more than the average passenger vehicle, so the sheer force of impact can be devastating. These are just a couple reasons for fatalities in truck collisions.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 3,989 people were killed in truck crashes in 2016, and 82 percent of the victims were passenger vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians. If you lost a loved one in an accident caused by a negligent trucker, you may be entitled to compensation from him or her, as well as the fleet transportation company, in a wrongful death action.
Main Reasons for Fatalities in Truck Accidents
Tragic truck wrecks include head-on collisions, jackknife truck accidents, rollover accidents, and underride crashes. While these types of wrecks are similar to incidents between passenger vehicles, the size and weight of commercial vehicles often result in fatal situations.
Other Contributing Factors To Truck Accidents
One of the primary causes of accidents, federal regulations nevertheless permit truck operators to drive up to 11 hours with only a short break. Additionally, some truckers may be pressured to violate hours of service mandates if delivery deadlines need to be met. Trucker fatigue can impair driving ability similar to intoxication: vision, judgement, reaction time, and ability to gauge distance are all compromised.
When a trucker is texting or reading a text, he can travel the distance of a football field in a matter of seconds when his eyes and mind aren't on the road. Talking on a phone, eating and drinking, and reading a GPS are other distracted driving behaviors that lead to fatal wrecks.
Loaded semi-trailers often require up to 40 percent longer distance to come to stop than passenger vehicles. Speeding decreases the ability to brake safely.
Lack of Maintenance
When trucking companies fail to maintain and repair their commercial fleets, key vehicle components, such as brakes, steering, or tires, can fail and cause the operator to lose control.
Have You Been Injured In A Truck Accident?
If you've been injured in a tractor trailer accident you need to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.