No one is likely to be astonished to find out that large trucking accidents are a major source of severe injuries and deaths throughout the country. The size and power of semi-tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles can easily cause tremendous injuries when they are involved in a crash with a smaller vehicle. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, there were 136 fatalities out of 6,596 total crashes involving a heavy truck in Pennsylvania in 2014.
Pennsylvania has numerous busy highways throughout the state, and while this simplifies traveling long distances, it also increases the likelihood of a serious crash. While the aforementioned statistics make the odds of surviving a trucking accident seem relatively high, almost all crashes between a large truck and a smaller vehicle result in serious or even catastrophic injuries. Furthermore, these serious injuries and deaths rarely ever happen to the driver of the truck, but they are solely the consequences of sharing the road with these enormous, fast-moving machines.
Brake problems or complete brake failure is among the main reasons for commercial trucking accidents. This is mostly because large trucks must travel at relatively high speed in order to meet the demands of the trucking company and their duties. High speeds and extreme weight creates havoc for braking systems. A scary thought, but one to be aware of, is the fact that approximately one out of every five trucks fails inspection because of very serious operating problems. One of the most common of which is faulty, worn-out brakes.
An equally dangerous and frequent cause of large trucking accidents is driver fatigue. Truck drivers are typically very responsible and highly skilled drivers. Each truck driver must pass intense tests and scrutiny in order to even obtain their CDL in the first place. Drivers are highly aware of the sheer power of their enormous vehicles, and the responsibility they have in their hands. Nevertheless, the high demands of consumerism and each and every trucking company often keeps these talented drivers operating their trucks for hours upon hours straight. Every driver is only human after all, and fatigue happens to the best of us.
Distracted driving and high speeds are also among the top causes for trucking accidents. While high speeds come as no surprise due to the demands of the job, distracted truck drivers should be non-existent. Unfortunately, hour after hour on the open road can tend to become very monotonous, and while that is no excuse, it may help you understand why some drivers become distracted by small things such as phones, foods, or drinks.
At Edelstein, Martin & Nelson, we understand why these crashes occur, and we sympathize the best we can with drivers who may simply be struggling to do their jobs. However, we recognize the bottom line that it is their job to be as responsible as possible while doing their job, and there is absolutely no excuse for such serious negligence. We adamantly maintain the importance of holding Truck drivers and their companies liable for any form of negligence on their behalf. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a trucking accident, do not hesitate to call 888-208-1810 and schedule your free consultation today.