With more than 3,000 deaths and 30,000 injuries resulting from accidents involving semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles in the U.S. each year, someone is killed or hurt by a truck collision every 16 minutes.
Defects contribute to the number of large truck accidents each year. Some of these defects include:
- Tires or wheels
- Steering Wheel
About 700 heavy truck drivers and passengers in truck cabs die each year. In addition, almost 3,700 persons in cars and other passenger vehicles die annually in collisions with heavy trucks.
The U.S. Department of Transportation states that 86% of people killed and 77% of people injured in a trucking accident are in a non-commercial vehicle. Because of the large size of trucks and the significant size difference between trucks and other vehicles on the road, trucking accidents can involve catastrophic injuries.
Trucking accidents can be caused by many different factors, including:
- Defects in the Truck
- Unqualified Truck Drivers
- Fatigued Truck Drivers
- Faulty Equipment and Maintenance
- Overloaded Trailers
The FMCSA's Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) classifies a truck as large if its gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) exceeds 10,000 pounds. The majority of fatal crashes involving tractor-trailer trucks include trucks that are pulling one trailer. A recent survey showed that 64% of fatal truck crashes had one trailer. Thirty-two percent of those involved single-unit trucks (no trailer) and fewer than 4% of the those involved multi-trailer vehicles (more than one trailer).
It is estimated that passenger vehicles share the already overcrowded interstate highway system with approximately 2.3 million commercial trucks. With a typical passenger vehicle weighing only 3,000 pounds compared to loaded commercial truck weighing up to 80,000 pounds, persons traveling in passenger vehicles are extremely vulnerable in truck vs. passenger vehicle collisions. In two vehicle crashes involving passenger vehicles and large trucks, 98% of the fatalities were occupants of the passenger vehicle.
While large trucks make up only 4 percent of all registered vehicles, they are involved in 11 percent of all crash fatalities (NHSTA). There are a number of state and federal regulations which were put in place in the hope of reducing the number of commercial trucking accidents. Often truckers are encouraged to speed and drive over their allotted time, since trucking companies pay drivers by the mile, not by the hour. Unfortunately, due to unrealistic demands on drivers in this competitive business, drivers will push themselves and their trucks beyond safe limits.
Federal studies have found that a commercial truck driver is 10 times more likely to be the cause of a fatal commercial truck accident than bad weather, road conditions, or any other factor resulting in a collision. The annual death toll from truck-related crashes is the equivalent of twenty-six major airplane crashes every year.
With more than 75 years of combined litigation and practice experience, Langdon & Emison attorneys have the knowledge, experience, skills and resources to hold trucking companies accountable and successfully resolve any trucking accident case. Our founding partners, truck accident attorneys Bob Langdon and Kent Emison, are recognized as two of the best trial attorneys in the United States. The firm has successfully obtained eight-figure verdicts and settlements for truck accident victims and their families, including clients injured in collisions.