As an injury attorney, I pay attention to the numbers of accidents reported by the government. United States Department of Transportation issued a report that in 2002 there were over 4,500 tractor trailers involved in fatal collisions. Over 5,000 people died in these truck wrecks.
The study put out by the USDOT and the federal motor carrier safety administration indicated that most tractor trailer wrecks occurred during daylight during the week between Monday and Friday and during normal weather. Additionally the study of truck related crashes and death in the US showed that most truck wrecks involving fatalities occur on rural highways. These statistics are not broken down by state. However if the 5,000 deaths were spread equally over the 50 states it would be approximately 1 tractor trailer related death on the highways of each state for example Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland etc every three days. States like Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina which may have more rural highway than other states also have more death as a result of truck wrecks. Seventy percent of the fatal tractor trailer accidents happen on rural highways.
A reason that so many of the highway fatalities occur during daylight hours Monday through Friday is that there is more traffic during those days and times. What is hard to understand is that most accidents took place on dry roads in normal driving conditions. This means that rain and other bad driving conditions are not the cause of most of these deaths in tractor trailer accidents.
Keep in mind that most of the accidents involving tractor trailers on the nations highways don’t result in death. This means there are many more incidences than the 5000 deaths a year where significant injury results. According to the statistical information put together by the department of transportation, driver error by the tractor trailer driver accounted for almost one-third of all fatal accidents in the U.S. Some of the factors included driving too fast, running off the road, improper turns, and driver fatigue. Tractor trailers are approximately eight percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes each year. The number of tractor trailers on the nation’s highways has increased by more than forty percent in the last twenty years. There are 8 million tractor trailers in and around our country.
The threat posed to the average motorist by big rigs is not just in the imagination. The danger is real. Our firm has been representing people injured in tractor trailer accidents for many years. To learn more about some of our actual cases please look at our real case results section on our website at www.hsninjurylaw.com. Giving these giant trucks a cushion of safe distance from your passenger vehicle is smart defensive driving.