Crashes involving large trucks are almost always more serious than those involving only cars, pickups or SUVs. Because of the size of these trucks, they can do more significant damage, especially when they collide with a smaller vehicle. Unfortunately, the incidence of large truck crashes has been increasing in recent years. Just in 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that deaths from large truck crashes totaled more than 4,300, representing a 5.4 percent increase from 2015.
Understanding the Increase
The increase in large truck crashes and associated fatalities can be attributed to several different factors. Some of the possible explanations for this increase include:
- Distracted driving – Both drivers of large trucks and drivers of passenger vehicles can be vulnerable to distractions while driving. For example, crashes may occur when a driver is adjusting the radio, texting, having a conversation with someone in the vehicle or thinking about something other than the road.
- Exhaustion – Truck drivers often spend more hours than they should in the driver’s seat. This leads to exhaustion, which can slow down reaction times and make accidents more likely.
- Aggressive driving– Some drivers of large trucks may use their size to their advantage, bullying other drivers on the road. In some cases, this can lead to crashes. Drivers of smaller vehicles may also contribute to accidents with large trucks by driving aggressively.
- Congestion on the road– As the number of vehicles on the road increases, the incidence of all types of accidents increases as well, including those that involve large trucks.
Preventing Truck Accidents
Research has shown that adding certain safety features to passenger vehicles has reduced the incidence of crashes. These features include automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, lane departure warning, stability control and forward-collision warning. Unfortunately, although these features are becoming increasingly more common on passenger vehicles, they are not being installed on most commercial trucks. If these features were to become more common on large trucks, it is likely that the incidence of crashes involving these vehicles would decrease. In fact, some experts have suggested that installation of these features on large trucks is even more important than installing them on smaller vehicles, as large trucks can cause much more damage in an accident.
Until large trucks come with more safety features, prevention of accidents relies largely on the competence and responsibility of drivers. To prevent accidents, drivers of passenger cars should be vigilant when operating their vehicles near a large truck. Drivers should also avoid speeding, distractions and aggressive driving.
Taking Action After a Crash
Even when you take all the necessary precautions, truck crashes can still occur. If you are involved in an accident with a large truck, you and any passengers in your car may sustain injuries, and your car may be severely damaged. Fortunately, you may be able to recover compensation for any losses related to the crash by filing a claim against the responsible party. Depending on the circumstances, you may receive compensation for lost wages, medical bills, pain and more.
If you have been involved in a crash with a large truck, you need representation from an experienced lawyer you can trust. Please contact Mann Law Firm to schedule a consultation today.