It’s just common sense that semi-trucks and tractor trailers are going to cause more damage in an accident than another passenger vehicle. These massive trucks often travel at excessive speed and have drivers behind the wheel who are either fatigued or otherwise trying to make a deadline.
In 2018 alone, there have been several serious or deadly commercial truck accidents on Virginia’s roads. In March, two people were killed in Isle of Wight when a commercial truck swerved off the road and crossed the center line into a passenger car. The truck driver was charged with reckless driving. Another driver was seriously injured in April in an accident on I-81 near Harrisburg. The passenger car caused a crash when changing lanes into the pathway of a tractor-trailer.
In most accidents with semis and big rigs, no matter negligence or fault, the party that walks away from the crash with the least injuries is the truck driver. This can be a difficult fact to accept when statistics show that many of these accidents are due to truck driver negligence. Therefore is it is vital to be armed with the facts about trucking accidents and what you can do to avoid these dangerous and deadly crashes.
What You Need to Know About Trucking Accidents
There are over 15.5 million trucks in the United States and close to 13 percent of those are big rigs, semis, tractor tailors, and 18 wheelers. There are approximately 60.5 injuries and 2.3 deaths caused by big rigs for every 100 million miles driven on roadways in the U.S.
A commercial truck accident costs $59,150 on average. Those that result in injuries and fatalities can cost much more. Fatal big rig accidents cost this country over $20 billion annually, $13.1 billion of which is attributed to loss in the quality of life of accident victims.
Approximately 90 percent of commercial truck accidents are caused or made worse by human error, which can be on the part of the truck driver, drivers of other vehicles, passengers, or pedestrians. Since the results of semi-truck accidents can be so severe, it makes sense to do everything possible to avoid these crashes.
Tips for Avoiding Accidents with Big Rigs
Truck drivers are supposed to have specialized training to handle the large and complex vehicles that they operate, but you can’t rely on others to keep you safe on the road. This is particularly the case when those truck drivers could be in a hurry, tired, or otherwise not following the rules themselves.
Some trucking accidents aren’t the fault of the truck driver at all. When the driver of a passenger vehicle doesn’t take the right precautions or is reckless themselves, a dangerous situation can develop. Several ways that you can avoid accidents with big rigs include:
- Don’t pass on the right. Commercial trucks have substantial blind spots on their right side. You risk getting caught when a truck turns right or changes lanes and doesn’t see you if you try to pass them this way.
- Avoid tailgating. Big rigs can brake quickly, and you won’t be able to anticipate when this will happen if you are right behind them. Allow plenty of distance when following a large truck.
- Understand other blind spots. Commercial trucks have several major blind spots that you should avoid staying in to ensure your safety.
- Don’t cut off trucks. If you cut off a truck, it could lose control and cause a serious crash.
- Drive slower in work zones. Always drive slower in work zones because these areas are the sites of many trucking accidents.
Get Experienced Truck Accident Crash Representation
If you are the victim of a trucking accident, you are likely seriously hurt. You may have also lost a family member to one of these catastrophic crashes. If the truck driver or their employer were negligent or acted recklessly in any way, you have a right to pursue full and fair compensation for your losses.
At Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., our experienced Virginia trucking accident crash attorneys will review your situation fully and take any steps necessary to protect your rights. If you have a case, you have the right to request payment for medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and wrongful death. Contact us now at 703-361-1555 or reach out to us online to schedule a consultation.