Truck accidents, like other auto accidents, happen every day all across the United States. However, they are unlike other auto accidents in the fact that they involve much larger and ultimately, much more dangerous vehicles. Semi-truck accidents can cause a great deal of turmoil for all parties involved, and often end up injuring thousands of people each year.
When a large trailer of 10,000+ pounds collides with another vehicle, bike or pedestrian the risk of injury is extremely high. In fact, close to 500,000 trucking accidents occur each year in the United States and of those, approximately 5,000 are fatal collisions.
The High Cost of Semi-Truck Accidents in the US
Fatal trucking accidents cost the United States nearly $20 billion each year, and close to 98 percent of all semi truck accidents end with at least one fatality. With statistics like those, it makes sense that Americans are always on the look out for a good personal injury attorney to fight their cases in court.
Driver tiredness and fatigue is often found to be the cause of many semi-truck accidents. Because of this issue, there are strict regulations put in place by the US Department of Transportation very own Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It calls for the amount of time a driver can be behind the wheel each week to be no greater than 70 hours. The regulations also state that if the trucking company allows the driver to exceed any regulated limits, they can be fined up to $11,000 for each offense.
These regulations only went into effect in July of 2013, but they are projected to greatly decrease the amount of trucking accidents that occur in the United States each year. They will also hopefully reduce the amount of fatalities that result from such terrible accidents.
Protect Yourself with Defensive Driving
The best way for passenger car drivers to avoid a trip to visit a personal injury lawyer is to be aware of semi-truck blind spots. If drivers stay clear of trucker’s blind spots, they are less likely to cause an accident. Passenger car drivers should also avoid passing semi-trucks on the right when they are attempting to make a right hand turn.
It also pays to be aware of trucker’s signals, as they often have to work harder to maneuver through city streets. Finally, remember that being a defensive driver is not the same as being an aggressive driver. Being a smart and conscientious driver can help to make the roadways a safer place for yourself and other drivers as well. If put in this situation and you are injured, be sure to contact a personal injury attorney for help.