Truck Accidents an All Too Common Occurrence
According to the US Department of Transportation, someone is in the United States is either injured or killed in a truck accident every 16 minutes, a number that equals out to about 90 accidents per day involving big trucks.
The results of these accidents are all too often deadly. There are over 6,000 estimated fatalities occurring in trucking accidents each year, not to mention the 133,000 injuries reported. And out of those 133,000 injuries, an estimated 26,000 injuries fall into the realm of the catastrophic, including brain injury, paralysis, or amputation.
Unfortunately when trucks and passenger vehicles collide, it is all too common for the injuries or fatalities to occur in the passenger vehicle. Large trucks can tip the scale at up to 80,000 pounds as compared to passenger vehicles’ relatively dainty 3,000 pounds. It’s a sad but true statistic that out of the 6,000 fatalities occurring each year in truck accidents, almost ¾ of the deaths were of occupants in passenger vehicles.
According to a CDC report from 2005 (the latest date this information was available), unintentional injury, led by motor vehicle accidents, were the leading cause of death of people under the age of 44 in the United States.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
The fact remains that being on the road in the United States is a risky proposition, and the matter is compounded when drivers of tractor trailer trucks are negligent, poorly trained, overtired, or under the influence.
Negligence – Negligence can occur when a driver isn’t paying attention the road, is driving over the speed limit, has overloaded the truck, failed to properly secured heavy loads, has not properly maintained the truck, or has failed to inspect the truck and its contents pre-trip. In essence, truck drivers face potential human errors every day, and when those errors are combined with an 80,000 ton truck, the results can be deadly.
Fatigue – The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board still blames driver fatigue as a probable factor in 20-40% of truck crashes. Though truckers’ driving hours are limited by law, many skirt the issue, whether due to unrealistic expectations of shipping companies or their own desire for more income, which is often earned by the mile. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that a tired driver is just as dangerous and causes just as many accidents a driver operating under the influence.
DUI – Anyone holding a commercial driver’s license is subject to drug testing. A study by the Insurance Institute for Traffic Safety randomly tested truck drivers and showed that 15% of all interstate truck drivers had marijuana in their system, 12% had stimulants (non-prescription), 5% had prescription stimulants, 2% had cocaine and less than 1% had alcohol in their system.
Poor Training – Truck driving is a job with high demand and high turnover, which can lead to an influx of inexperienced, and in some cases, poorly trained drivers. Driving a truck takes a lot more skill than driving a passenger car, and poorly trained drivers loose on the roads can be a deadly hazard.
If you have been the victim of a trucking accident in Georgia, you need an aggressive, caring lawyer who will fight for your rights. Call MLN Law at (404) 531-9700 and hold negligent parties accountable for your accident.