Large truck accidents accounted for 104,000 injuries in 2012, showing that
highways can be dangerous places for smaller cars. These numbers, from the
latest report of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), represent
an 18% increase in the number of injuries compared to 2011. Large truck
accident fatalities increased by four percent over the same period, up
to 3,921 in 2012.
Truck Accidents Are Especially Dangerous for Smaller Vehicles
When a large truck collides with a smaller car, the chances for a serious
injury or fatality increase significantly. In particular, these collisions
mean likely injury or death for car drivers and passengers. Seventy-three
percent of the people injured in truck accidents in 2012 were occupants
of other vehicles besides the truck, 24 percent were occupants of large
trucks, while another three percent were not occupants of any vehicle.
When it came to fatalities, 73 percent were occupants of other vehicles,
18 percent were occupants of large trucks, and ten percent were non-occupants
of vehicles. The numbers for fatalities are similar, although ten percent
of the fatalities from truck accidents were non-occupants of vehicles.
In all, drivers and passengers of other vehicles involved in truck crashes
are nearly three times more likely to be injured, and four times more
likely to be killed, than occupants of large trucks.
One type of truck accident that can be particularly dangerous is the rear-ending
of a large truck. According to the NHTSA statistics, in fatal two-vehicle
collisions, trucks were rear-ended almost three times as often as non-truck
vehicles. This is fairly self-explanatory, as rear-ending a large truck
is nearly equivalent to driving straight into a concrete wall, and can
have deadly consequences. As with all auto accidents, alcohol consumption
greatly increases the likelihood of crashing, getting injured, or dying
on the road. While the rate of intoxication among truck drivers involved
in accidents was relatively low, the rate for drivers of other vehicles
in the same accidents was unacceptably high.
While all truck accident injuries and fatalities increased from 2011 to
2012, the number of injuries to non-truck occupants and non-occupants
of vehicles jumped starkly. Together, the injuries and fatalities for
these groups increased by nearly 20 percent. Again, this shows just how
dangerous the roads can be for drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles.
auto accidents are unfortunate, truck accidents in particular can be deadly, and seem
to be getting deadlier. Drivers of smaller vehicles need to be especially
careful and change their driving habits when necessary, and those involved
in accidents with large trucks should seek out quality legal representation
to protect their rights and interests.
What to Do if You Are Involved in a Truck Accident
If you or a loved one has been killed or injured in a truck accident, and
you are thinking about litigation, you should contact a
personal injury attorneyimmediately. An experienced truck accident lawyer can review the facts
of your case and determine whether you have a viable claim. If so, they
can help you seek the compensation you deserve.