You might be surprised to learn that trucking in the number one job in the United States.
The industry might its fair share of problems, but it still employs millions of Americans and is growing faster than nearly all other industries.
Do you drive semi trucks for a living? Do you know someone who does? Do you just want to stay safe when sharing the road with a truck driver?
No matter which category you fall into, it’s important to understand the stats about semi trucks and accidents that involve them. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
Number of Accidents Involving Semi Trucks
Every year, more than 4,000 people die in accidents that involve semi trucks and other large vehicles.
Of those deaths, a little less than one-quarter were truckers themselves. The majority of those who die in semi-truck accidents are driving other vehicles when the collision occurs.
Fatalities associated with semi truck accidents have increased over the last few years. They’ve especially increased among trucks that weight 10,000-14,000 pounds or more.
Most Common Causes of Semi Truck Accidents
There are lots of reasons why semi-truck accidents are on the rise throughout the United States.
One of the main reasons, though, is the fact that more trucks are on the road than ever before. This increase in the number of trucks on the road increases the accident risk for truck drivers as well as everyone else.
We might not have a lot of control over the number of trucks on the road at any one time. There are lots of other issues that contribute to semi-truck accidents, though, and many of them are, in fact, controllable.
The following are some of the most common causes of semi trucks accidents in the U.S.:
Of all the issues that lead to semi truck accidents, driver fatigue is one of the most common. It’s not uncommon for a truck driver to drive thousands of miles per day with little-to-no rest.
In fact, because truck drivers are often paid based on the number of miles they drive, they often push the limits more than they should in order to increase their take-home pay.
Improper truck maintenance contributes to a lot of accidents as well. Some of the most common maintenance issues that increase the risk of truck accidents include:
- Baking system problems
- Worn tires
- Engine malfunction
- Unsafe trailers
It’s important for truck companies to make sure their vehicles receive regular maintenance before each trip to prevent these issues.
Distracted driving has become a more serious problem over the last few years. This is thanks, in part, to the increased popularity of smartphones and other devices.
Distracted driving doesn’t have to include a device, though. Eating, drinking, and talking to passengers also count as distractions and can cause one to get into an accident they could have otherwise avoided.
Inexperience and inadequate training contribute to semi-truck accidents, too.
With an increased need for products to be delivered throughout the country, trucking companies are hiring more drivers. If these drivers don’t receive proper training, they put themselves and everyone else on the road at risk.
Loading issues can result in semi truck accidents as well.
Some drivers may load items onto their truck very quickly, without taking care to make sure they’re loaded in the correct way, so they can get on the road faster.
This can lead to improper weight distribution and may cause the truck to become more difficult to maneuver. Improper loading, in turn, can increase a driver’s risk of being involved in an accident.
What to Do if You’re Involved in a Semi Truck Accident
If you’re involved in a semi truck accident, especially if you’re injured, you deserve to be compensated. The following are some steps you can take to ensure you receive the care and compensation you deserve:
Stay at the Scene
As with any type of vehicle accident, it’s important to stay at the scene until the police and ambulance arrive. Don’t try to drive away, even if you think everything seems fine and you don’t appear to have any injuries.
Call 911 right away and let them know that an accident has taken place. The sooner you can get the police and an ambulance on the scene, the better.
While you wait for help to arrive, it’s a good idea to take photos of the scene. Get photos of the truck, as well as your car and any other cars involved in the accident. Take photos of your injuries and the other drivers’ injuries, too.
Exchange information with the driver or drivers involved in the accident as well. Get their names, contact information, insurance information, and license plate numbers. It’s a good idea to take note of the company for which the driver works, too.
Seek Medical Care
It’s important to see a doctor right away after your accident.
Even if you don’t have injuries that need emergency attention, you’ll need documentation proving your injuries were caused by the crash in order to get a good settlement.
Hire a Lawyer
It’s a good idea to hire a truck accidents lawyer, too.
Look for someone who specializes in these types of accidents and has a history of winning cases and negotiating good settlements for their clients.
Stay Safe Out There
As you can see, there a lot of the accidents that occur every day involve semi trucks.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a semi trucks driver or a regular driver, it’s important to understand the statistics surrounding these accidents.
That way, you can make better choices and ensure you’re driving in a way that keeps both you and other drivers safe on the roads.
Do you want to learn more about safe driving? If so, be sure to check out the Automotive section of our site today.
You’ll find all kinds of tips and tricks here that will help you feel safe and confident every time you get behind the wheel, no matter what kind of vehicle you drive.