Unfortunately, truck accidents seem to be becoming an all too common occurance across the United States. Since 2009, there has been a 52% increase in the number of truck accidents that happen nationwide, despite car accidents seeing a decrease in that same period. Given the amount of destruction that can be caused in a collision involving a large commercial truck or tractor-trailer, nobody wants more of these incidents to happen. According to the World Health Organization, road crashes will become the 5th leading cause of death in America by 2030.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons a truck accident lawyer believes could be why there may be more truck accidents happening on our roads.
An Increase in the Number of Trucks on the Road
One potential reason for the increase in truck accidents that we are seeing is that there are many more big-rigs, semis, and 18-wheelers on the roads. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our lives for much of 2020 and 2021, and distribution was one of the hardest hit industries. Supply chain issues were never fully resolved in the wake of the pandemic and were then further disrupted by the war in Ukraine. This has created an increased demand for truck drivers, and more trucks are being put on the road to try and reduce backlogs and restore supply chains across the country. It is estimated that semi-trucks are responsible for 42% of all miles covered by commercial vehicles in the United States. It is a logical conclusion to reach that with more trucks around, more are going to be involved in accidents.
A Growing Demand for Truck Drivers to Meet Unrealistic Deadlines
With the growing demand for truck drivers to transport all manner of goods across the country, there is increasing pressure on drivers to deliver goods within increasingly tight deadlines. Truck drivers are only allowed to work a limited number of hours before they are required to take rest breaks. However, some trucking companies may be guilty of pushing drivers past those limits to meet unrealistic deadlines or arrive early at their destination. This results in tired truck drivers who are not getting the required amount of rest or uninterrupted sleep. When drivers are fatigued, it impacts their reaction times and decision-making abilities which may result in dangerous mistakes that cause tragic truck accidents. In these cases, a truck accident lawyer may name the trucking company as a liable party if the evidence supports them encouraging drivers to go over their allowable driving hours.
A Lack of Care From Car & Other Non-Commercial Drivers
Most truck accidents happen between noon and 3 pm when the roads are fairly busy with traffic. The majority of truck accidents happen on major roads outside of interstates and freeways. Only 15% occur on minor roads. With the rise in truck accidents, it is easy to assume that truck drivers are to blame. However, that isn’t always the case. Car drivers actually cause a large percentage of truck accidents. This is because they have a lack of understanding when it comes to how large commercial vehicles handle on the roads. Car drivers are guilty of misjudging the speed and stopping distance of trucks and will cut out in front of them when changing lanes, merging into traffic, or leaving junctions. This often leads to the truck having to make an emergency maneuver resulting in a collision or the truck jackknifing and potentially causing a pile-up. It is also common for cars to sit in a truck’s blind spot, meaning the truck driver may change lanes without realizing the car is there, again resulting in a collision.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, either as a truck driver or a car driver, you need to get in touch with an experienced truck accident lawyer to guide you through the related lawsuit. Truck accident lawsuits can be highly complex, and it is important to have a lawyer who knows how to handle this type of case to get the best resolution for you.
Butler, Vines and Babb is a leading law firm in Knoxville, TN, with extensive litigation experience in Medical Malpractice Law, Birth Injury Law, Trucking Accident Law, Personal Injury Law, and Business Law. Contact us today at www.bvblaw.com or call 865-637-3531.
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