Truck Accident Lawyers Representing Victims in Pennsylvania
Despite safety improvements, large trucks continue to cause serious injuries and fatalities. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it is not particularly surprising that this state of affairs exists. Trucks weigh 20-30 times more than the average passenger vehicle. They are taller and have higher ground clearance, making it possible for smaller vehicles to slide under the tractor during crashes. These factors ensure that almost any accident involving a semi-truck and a passenger car will be serious. There are no fender-benders when it comes to trucks.
Factors in Truck Crashes
Truck drivers undergo many of hours of training, and trucks are inspected regularly. Despite this, they are involved in accidents caused by:
- Traveling too fast for conditions: Drivers need to consider wet and icy roads and adjust their speeds accordingly. Tractor-trailers take much longer to stop than cars.
- Driver fatigue: Federal law limits how long a driver can drive without a rest stop and how many hours can be driven in a week. According to many surveys, drivers routinely break this rule.
- Faulty equipment: It is important for any motor vehicle to have well-maintained operating equipment. Given the sheer size and weight of a big truck, it is critical that part on these large vehicles be working correctly. Brakes, lights, and even wipers need to work without fail.
- Reckless driving: Turning without signaling, changing lanes abruptly, violating the speed limit, failing to heck blind spots, and passing slower vehicles can all be factors in truck accidents.
- Distracted driving: Truck drivers are just as likely as other drivers to become distracted by cell phones, texts, and radios. However, when such behaviors cause a truck accident, the potential for serious injuries and fatalities increases.
- Overloaded trucks: A load that is too heavy or unbalanced can change how the trailer responds to braking, turning and other evasive maneuvers. Trucks with shifting loads due to improper loading or with loads that are heavier than allowed can make tractor-trailers behave unpredictably.
These are just a few of the factors that contribute to serious truck accidents each year on the highways of Pennsylvania and the United States.
Statistics About Truck Accidents
In 2015, the majority of people who died in large truck crashes were in cars or other passenger vehicles. Only 16 percent of the victims of fatal truck accidents were occupants of the truck itself. Moreover, the total number of people who died in truck crashes in that year was greater than in 2009, a sobering statistic. Other statistics include:
- Most fatalities in truck crashes occurred in crashes involving tractor-trailers. Only 25 percent involved smaller single-unit trucks.
- In 2015 crashes where an occupant of the truck was killed, the majority of the accidents involved another large truck.
Consequences of Truck Crashes
In addition to causing the death of a loved one, truck accidents can leave families devastated in other ways. Victims may be unable to work again, require significant medical and home care, and be unable to enjoy the activities they once did. The home might require modification and the victim might require ongoing medical and therapy costs. These changes and resulting expenses can devastate a family. An experienced injury lawyer may be able to help.
Contact Our Western Pennsylvania Attorneys After a Truck Accident
To learn about your legal options and your rights after a serious truck crash, contact our truck accident lawyers. Send us an email to start discussing your case. Remember, you owe no attorney’s fee until we succeed on your behalf.