Frequency and Seriousness of Trucking Accidents
Trucking accidents are something that everyone on the road fears – drivers and passengers alike. Often times, we see and hear about the fatalities caused by or involving large trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration1 publishes an annual publication edition called the “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts.” According to this report, in 2012, 3,802 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, a 5 percent increase from 2011. Large truck and bus fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by all motor vehicles increased by 3 percent. Other analysis showed that over that year, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased by 5 percent and the vehicle involvement rate for large trucks in fatal crashes increased by 4 percent. Additionally, the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes increased by 22 percent and the vehicle involvement rate for large trucks in injury crashes also increased by 22 percent. As the data shows, large trucks accidents occur very frequently and are not decreasing.
The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA)2 also publishes statistics on the number of injuries and fatalities resulting from large truck accidents. In a report titled “Traffic Safety Facts,” the NHTSA analyzed data from 1998 to 2008. It found that during this time frame, of the fatalities that resulted from crashes involving large trucks, 74 percent were occupants of another vehicle, 10 percent were non-occupants, and 16 percent were occupants of a large truck. Furthermore, of the people who were injured in crashes involving large trucks, 71 percent were occupants of another vehicle, 3 percent were non-occupants, and 26 percent were occupants of a large truck. The numbers are alarming and staggering, especially since fatalities and injuries tend to injure occupants of other vehicles.
The United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration’s division3 (FHWA) suggests that decrease truck-involved fatal crashes requires overall improvement in truck safety and enhancing truck car drivers’ behavior and performance.
Best ways to avoid trucking accidents
Education is key when it comes to preventing any sort of accident, especially ones involving semi-trucks. There are certain precautions that should be taken by all drivers. For example, the most important point is that the truck’s blind spots must be avoided at all times. Trucks have larger blind spots than regular vehicles. A truck’s blind spots are on both sides where passenger vehicles typically pass and they extend far beyond the right and left lanes. Two other blind spots, or no-zones, exist in the rear and in the front of the truck. Driving in the truck’s no-zones can be fatal to all parties on the road and extreme precaution should be taken when driving in those zones. One way to prevent driving in those no-zones is to avoid tailgating, keeping the truck’s rear-view mirrors in sight at all times, giving plenty of space when driving in front and the back of the truck and especially passing one with extreme care.
Another way to prevent accidents involving semi-trucks is to remember that big trucks cannot maneuver quickly and that they take a much longer time to stop due to their size. If drivers find themselves around a semi-truck and they need to pass one or drive next to one, they need to be mindful of the truck’s slow braking speed.
Finally, all these guidelines should be remembered and exercised when driving in adverse weather conditions. When there is rain, snow or fog on the road, cars should give the truck more room by either speeding up or slowing down.
Call Our Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys at our St. Petersburg, Florida office today
If you have been involved in an accident with a semi-truck, our attorneys at the Dolman Law Group can guide you through this process of evaluating your personal injury claim every step of the way. Please call our St. Petersburg office at 727-222-6922 for a free consultation today.
DOLMAN LAW GROUP – ST. PETERSBURG OFFICE
St. Petersburg, FL 33712