Crashes with semi tractor trailer trucks, or semi trucks for short, can lead to serious harm for occupants of passenger vehicles. According to 2017 data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 72% of all those killed in semi truck wrecks were people in passenger vehicles.
While motor vehicle crash fatalities overall were down in 2017, fatalities involving large trucks increased by 9%, according to NHTSA. There were 4,761 people killed in semi truck crashes in 2017.
Understanding a bit about these semi truck wrecks may help some people to find ways that they can remain safe. Unfortunately, the World Health Organization estimates that semi truck wrecks will become the fifth most common cause of deaths in this country by 2030.
What causes semi truck wrecks?
According to 2014 data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the most common factor associated with semi truck crashes is brake problems. This highlights the importance of proper maintenance and checking the condition of the rig before the trucker heads out on a haul.
Inattentive or distracted driving is another major cause of semi truck crashes, according to the FMCSA. In fact, driver factors like drowsiness, distraction, poor decision-making or faulty execution accounted for 87% of the critical reasons for semi truck crashes. Only 10% of crashes were caused by issues with the vehicle, according to the FMCSA.
Truckers must ensure that they are following proper safety protocols when they drive. This includes following speed limits and driving laws. They must also take care to get enough sleep, avoid all types of impairment and be vigilant behind the wheel.
When do semi truck crashes occur?
The majority of semi truck crashes occur from noon to 3:00 in the afternoon. From 1:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon, people tend to be sleepy because of the circadian rhythm. This could mean that fatigue is a contributing factor for those crashes.
When you’re struck by a semi truck and suffer injuries, you’ll need to seek medical care. This can be a costly journey. Having to cover those expenses can be difficult. You may need to seek compensation to help cover those expenses. Your attorney can help you determine what other types of damages might be possible in your case. Be sure you get this process started quickly since there are time limits in this state for filing the claim.