Well, they’re big, and that’s just for starters.
And large commercial trucks – tractor-trailers, various 18-wheel rigs and other outsized conveyances – don’t stop on a proverbial dime. They are slow and cumbersome. In fact, a large truck tooling down a highway or interstate corridor and suddenly required to hit the brakes can travel more than a football field in length to stop.
There is this, too: Truck drivers often negotiate busy roads and inclement weather with prominent blind spots. The cargo they carry is sometimes improperly loaded and unstable. Truckers are often in a hurry, pressured by unrelenting time schedules. Many of them are overly fatigued. Some operate their rigs under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. And some of those rigs don’t timely receive the repairs and maintenance required to ensure their maximum safety.
That collective recipe of big-rig concerns spells danger on roadways across North Carolina and nationally, with a wide-ranging demographic being at pronounced risk for personal injury. Victims in crashes involving large trucks range from occupants in passenger vehicles and motorcyclists to bicyclists, pedestrians and additional parties.
How prevalent are commercial truck crashes in the U.S.?
The immediately preceding header query can be quickly – and sadly – answered via reference to authoritative truck crash data relevant to a recent year provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA reports that nearly 4,700 people spanning the country died in 2018 in crashes featuring large tracks. That dismal figure equates to a double-digit fatality toll every day during that year.
Agency-culled data also spotlight this information relevant to that recent measuring period:
- Consistently spiking death rate over multiple years
- Thirteen-percent jump in pedestrians killed by large trucks
- Marked increase in truck-linked deaths during a prolonged period of decreased fatalities overall on national roadways
Injuries commonly suffered in crashes involving large trucks
Unsurprisingly, and given the catalysts described above that render big rigs comparatively dangerous, a crash outcome featuring a commercial truck often yields stark downsides. Non-fatal injuries like the following are often catastrophic in nature:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and spinal injuries, sometimes paralyzing
- Ligament damage
- Cardiac arrest
- Broken bones/whiplash
- Internal bleeding
Seeking a legal recovery following a crash-linked injury
Accident victims and their families should note the importance of accurately establishing every type of negligence that materially played a role in an accident/injury outcome. Holding all responsible parties (and there can be many, ranging from a trucker to a trucking firm’s management) accountable is imperative for securing a just outcome marked by maximum compensation.
A legal remedy can be vitally important to a crash victim and loved ones. A meaningful money recovery can help pay for medical costs and rehabilitation, compensate for lost income, address emotional pain and suffering, and provide peace of mind concerning any resulting disability.
The commercial truck realm comprises a key industry that sustains and propels economic growth. Its participants must also be responsible players when it comes to promoting safety on state and national roadways. Accountability must be pursued and personal injury remedies secured when that is not the case.