Commercial Trucking Highway Accidents
Many people have a misconception that professional truck drivers cause most highway accidents. This is not true. According to the United States Department of Transportation truck accident statistics, about 500,000 truck accidents occur per year. However, that is only a fraction of all vehicle accidents that occur every year on U.S. roads and highways.
In 2020, large trucks accounted for 9 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes and 5 percent of all vehicles involved in injury and property-damage-only crashes. Additional estimates show that more than 75% of commercial truck accidents are the fault of passenger car drivers and other vehicle drivers. In comparison, only 4% of fatal crashes are caused by fatigue-related truck drivers.
Fatal large truck crashes often occur in rural areas and interstate highways. Approximately 27 percent of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred on Intestate highways, while 13% of accidents fell into both categories by occurring on rural interstate highways.
On average, one individual is killed or injured in a truck accident every 16 minutes. The fact is that truckers are seriously injured every day in highway accidents caused by other drivers. This trend does not appear likely to change any time soon as drivers are more distracted today than ever before by talking on their cell phones, sending texts, changing radio stations, their iPods, and even watching DVDs with their children.
Why Are Commercial Trucking Accidents Dangerous?
The number of large trucks on American highways has been rising continually. For example, according to the American Trucking Association, there were 38.9 million trucks registered and used for business purposes in 2020, which is only 24% of all registered trucks.
The sheer size of commercial trucks is frequently a significant factor regarding injuries and fatalities resulting from commercial trucking accidents. Given their size, it’s easy to see how the victim of a commercial trucking accident can and does often suffer catastrophic injuries or even death.
Have You Been Involved in a Commercial Trucking Highway Accident?
We know from experience that truckers often do not realize the full extent of their injuries immediately after a highway accident. Sometimes truckers walk away from the accident thinking they have not been injured at all only to discover days or weeks later that they have severe neck or back pain, headaches, or other injuries. This delay in symptom onset is common.
That’s why it’s crucial to seek medical attention after the crash so you can make sure your full extent of sustained injuries is reported. That way, you can do everything in your power to obtain the full extent of medical expenses you are entitled to.
What Should Truckers Do If Involved In a Highway Accident?
If you or a truck driving family member has been in a highway accident, the following tips are very important to your case:
- Take pictures of the vehicles and the scene.
- Gather the names of witnesses.
- Find out who was driving the other vehicle and their insurance company.
- Go to the hospital or make an appointment with your doctor.
- Cooperate with the police and if subpoenaed, appear in court.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions and keep all medical appointments.
- Don’t talk with an insurance company until you have talked with your own attorney.
If you have been in a highway accident, you need to contact a trucker personal injury attorney. After the accident, you will likely be contacted by an insurance adjuster. The insurance adjuster’s job is to pay you as little as possible for your claim. The insurance adjuster does not represent you, and the questions the adjuster asks you are often designed to damage your personal injury claim. Do not talk to an insurance adjuster without first talking to a trucker personal injury attorney.