Truck-involved auto accidents are terrifying and often deadly. Because trucks are heavy machinery that often weighs at least triple what a normal vehicle does (and that’s before you count their cargo weight), they cause massive damage to anything that hits them (or that they hit). To stay safe from truck accidents, and protect everyone else on the road, you need to understand some of the key data points and information surrounding truck-involved auto accidents. To assist you, here is a useful guide to everything you need to know about truck accidents:
1. 74% of Fatal Vehicle Crashes Involve Large Trucks
Because trucks, especially commercial trucks, are so massive, they cause serious damage to all other vehicles that are involved in an accident. The drivers of smaller vehicles in truck-involved accidents tend to be those who suffer fatal injuries. 68% of truck fatalities are passenger vehicle occupants. Families of truck accident victims can seek legal assistance to find justice and the restitution they deserve.
2. 52% Increase in Truck Accidents Since 2009
While many people assume that roadways have become safer over the last few decades, this is simply not true. Unfortunately, there’s been a devastating 52% increase in the number of truck accidents since 2009. Due to this, the fatality rate connected to truck-involved auto accidents has risen significantly as well.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
1. Spinal Cord Injuries
Unfortunately, truck-involved auto accidents are often severe enough that victims in smaller vehicles sustain serious spinal cord injuries. These injuries can lead to intense healing periods or even death. Even if a victim recovers from their spinal cord injury, they are likely to have negative health side effects that will impact the rest of their lives, and cause chronic pain.
2. Brain Injuries
Because the human head and brain are so fragile, they are put in immense danger during truck-involved auto accidents. Sudden blunt-force trauma to the head can cause comas, internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries, and more. Many people lose consciousness after being struck by a truck for this very reason. Staying off the road when you feel exhausted or burned out can help increase roadway safety.
Alongside the spinal cord injuries we’ve mentioned above, victims of truck-involved auto accidents are often paralyzed. When this happens, the rest of their lives are irreparably changed, and they have to deal with expensive medical treatments for the rest of their lives. Because paralysis is incurable, it leads to serious mental health issues for the victim as well.
4. Broken Bones
Broken bones and fractures are perhaps the most common injury people sustain in truck-involved auto accidents. Because there is so much sudden pressure and brute force thrust upon those who are struck in the accident, it’s easy for the fragile bones in their body to either crack or break. In the worst-case scenarios, the damage can be so intense that amputation is needed to keep the rest of the body healthy and sustainable.
Common Causes of Truck Injuries
1. Lack of Vehicle Maintenance
A large portion of truck-involved accidents begins due to some type of vehicle malfunction. Professional truckers are expected to check their vehicle’s condition every single time they get on the road. At trucker checkpoints, other professionals look at trucks to ensure they are in a safe, functioning condition. Even with these precautions, lax maintenance leads to deadly accidents every single year.
Some of the most tragic accidents are caused by completely preventable scenarios. When a truck driver decides to get behind the wheel intoxicated, they are putting themselves, and everyone else on the road, in serious danger. Because this crime is so egregious, it can lead to massive legal charges and the loss of a trucker’s license.
3. Roadway Hazards
Roadway hazards cause deadly accidents every single day. Debris, slippery roads, and other hazards can cause truckers to lose control and can thrust them into situations where they do not have enough time to react to potential accidents. Roadway safety and safe driving techniques are a necessity.
4. Distracted Driving
Lastly, distracted driving is often the culprit of truck-involved auto accidents. Truckers are required to pay even more attention than your typical driver since they are operating a heavy, dangerous piece of machinery. When they let their guard down, they are putting everyone around them in serious danger.
Roadway Safety Relies on Everyone
Keeping our roadways safe is every driver’s responsibility. However, due to the much more destructive power of trucks, truck drivers must be extra careful to stay safe and aware when behind the wheel. For this reason, the only way American roads can become safer in 2022 (and beyond) is for everyone to do their fair share to increase safe driving practices.