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How Common Are 18-Wheeler Trucks And Commercial Vehicle Accidents?

The latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) annual report shows that 317,000 big trucks were involved in traffic crashes, resulting in 104,000 injuries and 3,921 deaths.

In fact, according to a recent New York Times article, “large trucks are disproportionately involved in fatal accidents.”

While heavy trucks accounted for less than 10 percent of total miles traveled in the United States during 2013, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, these type of vehicles were involved in one in eight of all fatal accidents and about one-quarter of all fatal accidents in work zones.

If past trends hold true, more people will be killed in traffic accidents involving large trucks this year than have died in domestic commercial airline crashes over the past 45 years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that truck and bus crashes cost the economy $99 billion every year.

What Type Of Vehicles Are Commonly Involved In These Accidents?

Trucks commonly involved in road accidents include commercial trucks, semi-trucks, semi-trailers, tow trucks, emergency vehicles (such as ambulances and fire trucks), buses, and delivery trucks.

Is There A Certain Type Of Vehicle That Is Involved More Often Than Others In Accidents?

Due to frequent stops and large blind spots – and because they often operate in residential areas – dump and garbage trucks pose a real hazard.

Likewise, tanker trucks that often carry hazardous materials are prone to rollovers. Flatbed trucks can suffer spills leading to accidents if the cargo is not properly secured. Tow trucks pose a particularly strong hazard.

Are These Vehicles Or Trucks Subject To Different Regulations And Law?

Trucks have specific Federal Government size requirements – both width and length – that must be met in order to have reasonable access to the roadways.

And the DOT (Department of Transportation) has a variety of safety regulations regarding crash avoidance, crashworthiness, and post-crash standards that truck drivers and manufacturers must adhere to. These are too numerous to mention.

Are There Any Special Requirements A Person Must Meet In Order To Drive An 18-Wheeler Truck Or Other Commercial Vehicles?

A CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) is required to operate large or heavy vehicles.

What Are The State And Federal Regulations Most Frequently Violated?

Along with excessive speeds, violations such as poor vehicle maintenance and improperly loaded cargo are frequently reported, along with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules regarding limits on hours of driving and required rest periods.

What Are The Most Common Causes Of These Catastrophic Accidents?

As stated before, speeding, poor maintenance, improper loading and “hours of service” violations cause many trucking accidents. Also, improperly trained drivers and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are also common causes.

What Are The Ways Accidents Involving Large Vehicles Differ From Passenger Vehicle Accidents?

Since trucks are heavier than cars and smaller vehicles, the victims of accidents involving trucks and oversized vehicles are much more prone to severe injuries and death.

What Evidence At The Scene Is Important To Preserve And Collect In These Cases?

As with any accident, it is of extreme importance to get the police reports. However, it is of equal important to preserve and collect all evidence, especially through photographs or videos – as soon as possible after the accident has taken place. Our attorneys will use this evidence in order to establish fault and/or negligence in a court of law.

What Are The Biggest Challenges Someone Might Face After An Accident Like This?

There are two major challenges facing those who are injured in a truck accident. One is the severity of the injuries and the length of recovery from those injuries. The other is the fact that the injured party may be facing large and well-funded professional entities, such as the trucking company and its insurance company.

For more information on Commercial Vehicle Accidents, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling 800-835-5762 & 954-456-2488 today.

Attorney Robert Fenstersheib

Get your questions answered - call us for your FREE consultation at 800-835-5762 & 954-456-2488

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