Truck drivers are supposed to be experts behind the wheel, even if they’re navigating a “big rig” cross-country. So why are they involved in so many crashes that result in thousands of cases of property damage, hundreds of serious injuries and even deaths every year? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wrecks involving trucks result from speeding, tailgating, changing lanes abruptly/improperly, reckless driving, driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol and, this is a serious and under-reported problem: driving while fatigued. If you or someone you care about has been injured as the result of a collision with a truck of any size – from a flatbed or tractor-trailer to a pickup truck – Brotherly Law’s Philadelphia truck accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve.
To make their delivery deadlines and earn a living, truckers bend over backwards to cover large stretches of highway in a single day. They go without sleep, overload on caffeine and other stimulants and drive at excessive speeds, even in snow, sleet, hale, thunderstorms and other difficult weather conditions. All these risks put the drivers and other vehicles on the road with them at tremendous risk. And, eventually, lack of sleep catches up with drivers, slowing their reflexes and allowing them to doze at the wheel, often drifting into other lanes or even oncoming traffic. This is especially true for truckers who switch back and forth between driving daytime and nighttime shifts.
The DOT reports that about half a million trucking accidents involving trucks of 10,000 lbs. or more happen every year in the United States, with literally thousands of these accidents resulting in fatalities. Even worse, the vast majority of victims in these accidents are pedestrians, cyclists and drivers/occupants of other, smaller vehicles.
It’s tragic when overworked truck drivers die behind the wheel while trying to make a deadline, pay their mortgages and support their families. But the tragedy is even worse for the law-abiding drivers/passengers of the cars, small trucks and motorcycles they hit, especially since the fatality rate in these accidents is so much higher for everyone except the truck drivers. In fact, not much more than 10% of fatalities resulting from collisions involving large trucks are big-rig drivers and passengers; Almost 90% of fatalities are drivers, passengers and pedestrians they hit.
A few eye-opening statistics: In 2012, almost 4,000 people were killed and over 100,000 injured in crashes involving large trucks nationwide. In Pennsylvania, of the 1,808 vehicles involved in fatal collisions, 175 were large trucks.
Nationwide, the fatality rate is rising by about 4% a year, with 200 more fatalities reported in 2012 than in 2011.
If you or someone you love is one of these victims and you’re continuing to suffer in the aftermath of a collision with a large truck, don’t trust the trucking company’s insurance company to immediately provide you with the compensation you deserve. You should speak with a Philadelphia-based personal injury attorney like the ones at Brotherly Law before settling your claim.
Unless the trucking industry becomes better regulated, with more consistent shifts and realistic deadlines, the high rate of accidents – especially those involving serious injuries and even fatalities – is probably going to continue rising over the next decade as the trucking industry continues to grow.
Sleep deprivation and/or overstimulation also leads to accidents for dump truck, tow truck, garbage truck and local delivery truck drivers, many of whom work graveyard shifts or multiple jobs to make ends meet.
While we’ve been focusing on the dangers of collisions involving big rigs and much smaller vehicles, there are far more pick-up trucks and mid-size trucks (including delivery trucks and vans) on the road, which account for even more accidents nationwide.
Gregory C. Littman, Esq. and Austin R. Freundlich, Esq., Brotherly Law’s truck accident lawyers in Philadelphia, understand the life-changing, personal devastation that victims of collisions with trucks can cause. If you or someone you care about has recently been injured, our personal injury attorneys can guide you through the process, investigate the circumstances of your claim, play hardball with the insurance company if necessary, and help you complete this difficult process with the compensation you deserve for medical bills, rehab expenses, time lost from work and psychological damage and need to move on with the rest of your life.
Your first consultation is free and our legal team takes many cases on a contingency basis. That means it’s in our best interest and your best interest to make sure you have a strong claim before we agree to take your case. Send us a message using the form on this website or call our legal team at (215) 545-8500. Your initial consultation is free.
If you have been injured due to no fault of your own, you may be able to hold the responsible party accountable for the monetary damages resulting from the accident. Fill out the form below to request a free consultation so we can evaluate your case.