Trucking Accident Lawyers College Park, MD
Everything You Need to Know About Big Trucks and Why They Crash
Commercial trucks play an extraordinarily large part in America’s economy. Consider the following statistics:
- Approximately 36.9 million commercial trucks are registered in the U.S.
- They drive around 305 billion miles on the nation’s roads each year.
- They carry over 72% of the nation’s freight.
- They pay almost $792 billion in gross freight revenues annually.
- They pay almost $46 billion in federal and state highway-user taxes annually.
- The nation’s 928,647 private trucking companies employ 3.6 million truck drivers.
- Each day, over 800,000 trucks carry hazardous materials across the U.S.
- A tractor pulling two fully loaded trailers weighs over 80,000 pounds, compared with the average passenger vehicle that weighs around 4,000 pounds.
- Every commercial truck has a “no zone” behind and on either side of it where its driver can’t see you.
Unfortunately, approximately 500,000 trucking accidents occur each year in the U.S., and upwards of 5,000 of these result in someone’s death. Given the enormous size and weight disparities between your vehicle and a big rig, it’s easy to see why your chances of sustaining serious injuries in a truck crash are exceedingly high.You may need to consult trucking accident lawyers College Park MD.
Top Reasons Why Big Trucks Crash
The top five reasons, not necessarily in order, why big trucks crash are:
- Driver error
- Improper cargo loading
- Inclement weather
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Equipment failure
1. Driver Error
Despite their experience and training, truck drivers are just as likely to make mistakes or poor decisions as anyone else. Some of the most common include:
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving while distracted
- Driving at an excessive rate of speed
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
2. Improper Cargo Loading
The way in which trucking company employees or shippers load a big rig with cargo makes all the difference. If the cargo is improperly secured, the load can shift, especially while going around curves and corners. The results can be catastrophic, not only for the truck driver, but also for you and any other vehicles in the vicinity.
3. Inclement Weather
Rain, snow, ice and wind can play havoc with any vehicle on the road. In terms of a big rig, however, the danger is increased due to the truck’s weight, length and increased stopping distances. In addition, a truck driver’s attempts to slow or stop his or her vehicle can lead to skidding, hydroplaning or jackknifing.
4. Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Given the immense wear and tear that big trucks are subjected to, the possibility of worn brake pads, leaking brake and other fluids and cracked windshields that prevent drivers from clearly seeing what’s ahead of them is ever present.
5. Equipment Failure
Even if the trucking company diligently maintains its fleet, it likely can’t prevent a crash caused by an actual failure of one or more of the truck’s components. If the truck manufacturer used inferior materials, or if a component contains an inherently dangerous design flaw, such defects can easily cause a crash.
If you’ve been injured in accident, it’s a good idea to contact trucking accident lawyers College Park MD. If you decide to pursue your case, trucking accident lawyers College Park MD can help get you the compensation you deserve.
Did a distracted truck driver hurt you?
You might assume that an experienced commercial truck driver would know the dangers posed by distracted driving and never engage in it. Unfortunately, however, this is an erroneous assumption. Big rig drivers are just as susceptible to distracted driving as other drivers. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that distracted driving accounts for 71% of all big rig crashes and is a major factor in almost 80% of fatal big rig crashes.Victims of negligence sometimes look for College Park MD trucking accident lawyers.
Driver distraction, whether among truckers or the general driving population, is defined as anything that does one or more of the following:
- Takes a driver’s hands off the steering wheel
- Takes a driver’s eyes off the road
- Takes a driver’s mind off driving
Drivers can become distracted by things both inside and outside their trucks. Common distraction causes include the following:
- Talking or texting on a cellphone
- Using a dispatching device
- Eating or drinking
- Reading or otherwise using paper maps
- Writing notes or self-reminders
- Reading billboards
- Watching the passing scenery or buildings
Consider the following trucking statistics:
- Texting while driving makes a driver 23 times more likely to crash.
- Using a dispatching device while driving makes a driver nine times more likely to crash.
- Writing while driving makes a driver eight times more likely to crash.
- Reading while driving makes a driver seven times more likely to crash.
- Using any hand-held device while driving makes a driver three times more likely to crash.
Approximately half a million trucking accidents occur each year in the United States, with over 5,000 of them resulting in one or more deaths. Of these deaths, 69% are of passenger vehicle occupants, 16% are of truck occupants and 15% are of pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. About 87,000 trucking accidents per year result in injuries, many of them serious.
What To Do After an Accident
If you sustain injuries in a crash involving a big truck, your wisest strategy consists of consulting with experienced College Park MD trucking accident lawyers as soon as possible thereafter. Why? Because you likely will face an extended hospital stay with its inherent skyrocketing medical bills. You consequently need to obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible to cover these and your other expenses and losses. College Park MD trucking accident lawyers can help you in many ways, including the following:
- Review police reports of what happened
- Conduct his or her own investigation to determine fault
- Talk with witnesses
- Review any video camera footage available
- Determine the value of your damages
- File a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf
- Effectively negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company
All in all, your lawyer can take your financial worries off your shoulders so you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries.
The attorneys at Cohen & Cohen have settled over 10,000 cases since 1993; our trucking accident lawyers College Park MD can help – contact us today at (202) 955-4529 for a free case evaluation.