Trucks and cars share the nation’s roads and highways daily, mostly in harmony. However, sometimes this is not the case, and accidents occur. The dangers of car and truck collisions are often catastrophic. In situations where 18-wheel tractor-trailer trucks and cars collide, injuries and deaths are likely, and occupants of cars usually wind up on the losing end. According to theNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration/a>, in 2014 there were 3,903 people killed and an estimated 111,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks. Most of the deaths and injuries in those crashes were passenger vehicle occupants—73 percent were occupants of vehicles other than the trucks involved.
The number of fatal crashes involving trucks is going up, and, after years of decline, the number of injury-involved accidents also is on the rise. More than 4,300 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2015—this number is up 8 percent from 2014. The rate of fatal large truck crashes in 2015 also was up from 2014, from 0.138 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by all motor vehicles to 0.140, an increase of 1.7 percent. The number of injury crashes involving large trucks or buses increased by 62 percent from 2009 to 2015 after several years of decline.
Truck Drivers’ Negligence Can Be a Major Factor in Accidents
Acts of truck driver negligence can result in accidents, including:
- Fatigue:The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that 13 percent of commercial motor vehicle drivers were considered fatigued at the time of their crash. Past studies suggest that fatigue or sleep deprivation may contribute to at least 30 to 40 percent of crashes involving tractor-trailers.
- Use of drugs or alcohol: Just as for passenger vehicle drivers, drug or alcohol use by truck drivers can have disastrous consequences.
- Speeding: Speeding is a major cause of traffic accidents, and because tractor-trailer rigs are so large and require much more time and room for safe maneuvers, speeding can eliminate that safety margin.
- Failure to check blind spots: Tractor-trailers have large blind spots in the rear, on both sides, and even in front of the cab. The rear blind spot can be 200 feet deep. On the sides, it can extend past the end of the trailer, and in front, it can be as far as 20 feet. This can lead to dangerous lane changes if a truck driver fails to adequately check blind spots.
If You Were Injured in an Accident Involving a Truck in Maryland, Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers of Alpert Schreyer
If you suffered an injury in an accident involving a tractor-trailer in Maryland, you should consult a personal injury attorney to determine what your rights are under the particular circumstances of your situation.
The lawyers of Alpert Schreyer, LLC, can assist you in protecting your rights and obtaining just compensation in these types of situations. Reach us at (844) 632-7274 or through our online contact form.