It is always a good feeling to walk into a store and find the exact product you were looking for, but you might not think much about how it got there. However, you have probably had the experience of driving near a large truck. Large trucks travel back and forth across the country each and every day, delivering goods and consumer products. Unfortunately, getting products to stores is not always safe. Large truck accidents are responsible for thousands of deaths every year.
In 2018 alone, large truck accidents caused 4,136 fatalities. In two vehicle accidents that only involved large trucks and passenger vehicles, drivers and occupants in passenger vehicles accounted for 96% of deaths. Large trucks also caused 22% of all passenger vehicle deaths in multi-vehicle accidents.
What is a large truck?
Large trucks are also referred to as 18-wheelers or tractor trailers. An example is a tractor truck that is pulling one or more trailers. Large trucks can also be single unit vehicles. These trucks often weigh upwards of 10,000 pounds.
The size and weight of these trucks mean they have reduced braking capabilities. Compared to smaller passenger vehicles, it takes much longer for a large truck to stop after the driver applies the brakes. It can take even longer if the roads are wet or slippery. Poorly maintained brake systems are also a known problem in the industry.
How are trucks regulated?
In Texas, vehicles that travel on the interstate cannot weigh more than 80,000 pounds. Still, a large truck carrying this much weight can easily cause catastrophic damage to a passenger vehicle. Federal law also requires someone to obtain a commercial driver’s license before he or she can drive a large truck.
Truck drivers must also follow regulations, and they cannot drive for longer than 11 hours at a time, must take a 30 minute break after eight hours on the road and cannot work more than 60 hours over the course of one week. The FMCSA put these rules into place in Jan. 2004, and since then truck drivers have spent even more time behind the wheel. This is very concerning since truck drivers who have spent eight hours driving are two times as likely to cause an accident
What about sleepy drivers?
As scary as it is to think about, many truck drivers have admitted that they sometimes fall asleep while driving. A sleeping driver behind the wheel of a large truck is a recipe for disaster. Any time that you pass a large truck on the interstate or elsewhere, you could possibly be passing a dozing driver.
While you may feel lucky to have survived a collision with a large truck, you are still at the beginning of your journey to recovery. Large truck accident victims often face soaring medical debt on top of lost wages, not to mention physical and emotional trauma. You need the right help on your side to secure compensation and justice for your injuries, so consider speaking with an experienced attorney regarding your options.