A Matter of Justice
While we respect those who take on the mantel of “truck driver”, one cannot turn a blind eye to the rise in accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks. We do not take aim at all drivers nor the industry, but we do seek justice for any driver of any vehicle that is hit and hurt in an accident.
We are all well aware of the devastation that can come from a wreck involving a big, 18-wheeler truck. Just last week, an 18-wheeler lost control in east Texas and caused at least ten vehicles to slam into one another. The very next day in the same area, another wreck involving a big truck killed one and left a teen seriously injured. 18-wheeler trucks accounted for 3,964 fatalities in 2013, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
These daily truck accidents bring about thousands of injuries and, sadly, in many cases end with the loss of life.
Big Truck Accidents Fatality
The following numbers were released by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and were put together by numerous agencies and various sources.
Nearly 500,000 big truck wrecks happen every year in the United States. In 2008, the preliminary national crash facts were as follows:
- 123,918 large trucks and 13,263 buses involved in non-fatal crashes;
- 49,084 large trucks and 7,123 buses involved in injury crashes;
- 73,047 injuries in crashes involving large trucks and 16,760 injuries in crashes involving buses;
- 74,834 large trucks and 6,140 buses involved in tow-away crashes;
- 2,609 large trucks and 11 buses involved in hazmat (HM) placard crashes;
- Sixty-eight percent of all fatal truck accidents happen in rural areas, not large cities;
- 66% of all fatal truck wrecks happen during the day versus the night, and finally;
- Weekends makeup 78% of the total fatal truck accidents that took place in 2003.
Fatal Accidents and DUIs
Approximately 5,000 of these 18-wheeler accidents result in deaths. One out of every eight traffic accident related fatalities involves a trucking collision; 98% of the deaths involve individuals in passenger vehicles
Over the years, the number of trucks on U.S. roads has increased to a great extent, but statistics show that the number of deaths due to truck accidents has remained more or less the same – about 5,000 deaths each year.
Numbers Rising in Texas
The numbers here at home aren’t much better. The Texas Department of Transportation reported the following numbers for big truck wrecks in Texas in 2010:
- 284 fatal truck accidents;
- 2,339 accidents that resulted in serious injuries;
- There were 15,676 commercial truck accidents;
- Texas roads have a fatality rate of 1.29 deaths per 100 million miles traveled
Unfortunately, wrecks involving big trucks in Texas has risen 51% between 2008 and 2013.
Contributing Factors of Truck Wrecks
Numerous factors can lead to to big truck wrecks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration listed the following as the most common causes:
- Equipment issues such as brake problems;
- Distractions such as mobile phones;
- Heavy traffic or other accidents;
- Side effects from prescription drugs;
- Over the counter drug use;
- Driving above the speed limit or too fast for current road conditions,
- Unfamiliarity with the area or roads;
- Inadequate surveillance;
- Fatigue, and;
- Drunk driving.
Accidents occurring while drivers are under the influence or drunk are on the rise as well throughout the U.S., and the trucking industry isn’t immune from this. In fact, DUI’s are one of the leading forces behind fatal truck wrecks.
Many of these factors are attributed to negligent and unsafe behavior on the part of the driver, the trucking company, the manufacturer of the trucks or their parts, and/or the party responsible for maintaining the truck.
In instances such as these, the team at Godsey Martin are ready to help you and your family receive the justice you’re entitled to. All accidents can leave a family broken whether it is due to injury, being unable to continue with one’s job, loss of income, or the death of a family member. You do not have the face these challenges alone. Contact us today to learn what options are available to you. Time is of the essence though when it comes to cases involving big truck accidents as evidence must be gathered as soon as possible. Call now at 877-IGOTHIT or fill out our form online and we will contact you as soon as possible.