The road is by far the easiest way leading from one point to another. They are shared by motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, and even animals. However, dependence on the roads has increased accidents, responsible for millions of deaths and injuries. According to statistics, road traffic accidents are the top cause of death by injury worldwide, with over 1.3 million deaths being reported annually. The rise of the trucking industry in the US has also led to an increase in accidents. Truck accidents can lead to severe injuries like a broken spinal cord, head trauma, and in most cases, death. In the USA, truck accidents account for nearly ten percent of fatal accidents each year. So why are truck accidents so fatal?
Reasons why truck accidents are fatal
To understand why truck accidents are so deadly, you should be aware of three key differences between heavy trucks and passenger cars. These fundamental differences are:
- Weight and Size. A large truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and be 45 to 65 feet long, while an average passenger car can weigh up to 4,000 pounds and be 12 feet long. This size and weight disparity alone can result in devastating injuries and death for passengers in the event of an accident
- The stopping distance. According to physics, an object with a large mass takes longer to stop than a smaller object once it is in motion. In the same way, large trucks tend to take a longer time to stop compared to passenger cars.
- Maneuverability. Truck drivers simply cannot dodge obstacles as quickly as car drivers due to their disparity in length and weight. These obstacles can be other vehicles on the road, and the impact can be very disastrous.
Leading causes of truck accidents.
The following are leading causes of truck accidents:
- Driver fatigue. To capitalize on profits, truck companies often put pressure on the truck drivers to deliver goods to a specific location in a limited time. This means that the drivers travel long distances with few breaks resulting in lose concentration and slow reaction while on the road.
- Overloaded Cargo. Every truck has a standard limit of cargo it is allowed to carry. Going beyond this limit makes it difficult to control a truck and increases the driver’s risk of losing control. This can ultimately lead to a fatal accident.
- Poor maintenance and negligence. There are laws and regulations that require a trucking company and truck driver to carry out a routine truck inspection before getting on the road and after a shift. However, due to the time taken and the costs associated with this maintenance, some trucking companies assume this vital activity and instead make deliveries with an unroadworthy truck.
What you should do after a truck accident
Seeking medical attention should always be your top priority when you are involved in a truck accident. Your next best step is claiming compensation to help you clear your medical bills and other expenses that you may incur due to the accident. However, getting this compensation can be very difficult because you must battle all the parties involved, including the truck company, insurance company, and truck driver. It is also tough to know the full compensation you can recover for your injuries. In most cases, the truck’s insurance company can decide to offer you a low settlement. That is why you need experienced accident lawyers specializing in truck accidents to deal with all parties, hold them accountable, and ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.