Passenger cars are among the most vulnerable vehicles on the open road, especially when you add large commercial trucks to the equation. Some of these 18-wheelers can weigh 20 to 30 times more than a traditional passenger car.
Because semi-trucks are also taller, there’s a higher chance for what is known as “underriding,” which is when a car gets wedged underneath another vehicle. While federal law states that commercial trucks should have an underride guard to protect other vehicles in the event of a collision, the reality is that these types of incidents still happen frequently.
Unfortunately, an accident with a semi-truck can happen unexpectedly and leave you or your loved one with serious injuries and in tremendous pain – or even worse. But there is hope.
The dedicated and experienced Houston truck accident lawyers at Lapeze & Johns have helped clients recover over $385 million in compensation. With a 98% success, trust in our team of caring lawyers to help you get your life back on track.
Truck Collision Statistics in the U.S.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2009 there were 3,147 total deaths in crashes involving large trucks, which was the lowest amount since 1975. However, since 2009, the large truck collision death rate has been on a slow but steady incline with 3,986 deaths occurring in 2016.
These statistic includes the deaths of individuals in passenger vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, as well as the semi-truck drivers.
Additionally, 66% of deaths in large truck collision were those of passenger vehicle occupants, while only 17% were the truck operators themselves. Pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists accounted for 16% of deaths.
One of the biggest causes of truck crashes is speeding and inattentive driving.
Avoiding Large Truck Collisions
Although passenger car drivers (and trucks drivers) can’t control the other drivers of the road, there are a few precautions that should be taken into consideration to prevent becoming another statistic:
- Beware of wet or slippery roads where chances of a collision are greater.
- Keep up with your brake maintenance. An inability to stop quickly and efficiently in an emergency can be devastating.
- Do not drive while tired. A slower reaction time when traveling at high speeds is a recipe for disaster.
- Obey the speed limit at all times. Do not be tempted to “make better time” by risking your life and those of your passengers.
- Be aware of 18-wheelers locations and what their lights are telling you. You may be aware that they are there but they may not be aware of you – always be cautious.
- Know your routes. Being in an unfamiliar area and a lack of focus can quickly lead to a serious accident.
- Check all tires before hitting the road.