The trucking industry is growing and revenues are estimated to nearly double by the year 2015. While this growth is good for the trucking companies, commerce, and the economy, it means that there are more and more trucks on the roads. These trucks share the roads with us in our cars, vans, and SUVs, and these large trucks are potential very destructive monsters.
All motor vehicles such as cars and motorcycles can cause accidents, injuries, and even death. The effects of a truck accident can be more profound than a typical car accident due to the size and weight of the vehicle. Sometimes, large trucks or commercial eighteen wheelers are carrying cargo. The cargo adds weight to the truck and can increase the severity of injuries sustained in a trucking accident.
A trucking accident occurs when large trailers (10,000 +lbs) collide with other vehicles or pedestrians. Approximately 500,000 trucking accidents occur every year in the United States. Out of these, about 5,000 trucking accidents result in fatalities. According to legalinfo.com, one out of every eight traffic fatalities involves a trucking collision with 98% of the fatalities being to people in the passenger vehicles.
Why do trucking accidents occur? Even though most truck drivers are more careful about driving than the average car or van driver, truck accidents do occur for a variety of reasons. Truck drivers work long hours, travel long distances, and can suffer from immense exhaustion. This exhaustion can cause a lack of concentration and therefore can result in an accident. If the truck driver is on a medication this could cause exhaustion, concentration problems, or affect his or her judgment. Driving under the influence is regarded as one of the leading causes of fatal truck accidents today. Sometimes these accidents are due to the driver’s negligence, but other times an accident can be caused from faulty parts on the truck, or weather conditions, or obstructions in the road.
Remember to drive defensively and avoid being in the blind spot of a truck driver. Try to keep your distance from a truck while driving, and avoid passing a truck on the right when the truck is turning right.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident, first seek medical attention, and then call a Houston truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Make sure that the lawyer is licensed in the state in which the accident occurred.