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.
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.