The trucking industry in Texas and throughout the United States continues to grow at an explosive rate. And with more trucks on the road, motorists face an increased risk of becoming involved in an accident with a large truck. Motorists who take the time necessary to understand these risks will become better able to keep themselves safe from them.
Rising fatality numbers
The Department of Transportation reported 4,102 casualties from accidents involving big trucks in 2017. This number shows a 52% increase from 2009 when 3,147 people lost their lives in trucking accidents.
Danger to passenger vehicles
When a passenger vehicle becomes involved in an accident with a big truck, the fatality risks for the driver or passengers in the passenger vehicle is much greater than for the truck driver. More than 90% of the deaths in these types of accidents happen to an occupant of the passenger vehicle.
Trucking accidents rise against trends
Motor vehicle accidents have decreased as a whole by 2% over the last few years. But accident frequency for large freight trucks is on the rise. Trucks that weigh between 10,000 and 14,000 pounds showed the highest rate of increase for accident frequency. Likewise, the death rate for accidents involving tractor-trailers that weigh more than 26,000 pounds rose by nearly 6%.
Truck accident causes
Many people mistakenly believe that drugs and alcohol are common culprits when a trucking accident occurs. But, statistics show the top reasons for these accidents are mechanical defects, traveling unfamiliar routes and driver fatigue.
Where trucking accidents occur
A report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed in 2017 that 52% of motor vehicle accidents involving large trucks took place on major roads. About one in three of these accidents took place on highways and interstates. Fifteen percent of accidents involving large trucks happened on back roads.
The size and weight possessed by large commercial trucks increase the danger involved when an accident occurs. Individuals who experience an accident with a large commercial truck may have a better chance at compensation after speaking with an attorney.