According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, each year, there are more than 500,000 truck accidents on U.S. roadways that result in approximately 5,000 fatalities. Most truck accidents occur on weekends and in rural areas and, according to statistical analysis, are caused by the following.
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (DUI), including prescription and illicit drugs and failure to obey traffic laws, such as running red lights or failing to use signals
- Improper loading of cargo or driving with an unsecured load
- Lack of training
- Reckless driving, such as unsafely passing, speeding or cutting off other drivers
- Vehicle equipment failure, including tire blowouts, and/or lack of adequate maintenance on the truck
- Weather conditions and/or poor road conditions
- Due to the size and weight of trucks, truck crashes tend to cause more damage, greater injuries and higher repair costs than other types of auto accidents.
Types of Truck Vehicles
Trucks are classified according to their weight, and the categories include:
- Mini trucks, such as Japanese mini trucks and microvans
- Light trucks, such as minivans, SUVs, pickup trucks, tow trucks and panel vans
- Medium trucks, such as box trucks, platform trucks, flatbed trucks, firetrucks and motorhomes
- Heavy trucks, such as dump trucks, garbage trucks, refrigerator trucks, tankers, crane trucks, tractor trailers and cement mixers
- Very heavy trucks and transporters, such as heavy haulers
The weight of the truck, as well as the speed of the truck (and any other involved vehicles), will affect the severity of a given trucking accident.
What to Do After a Truck Crash
If you or a loved one has been victim of a truck accident, it's essential that you:
- Seek emergency medical attention to assess the state of your health
- Follow through with all prescribed treatments for the best chances of recovery
- Consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer to find out if you are entitled to a settlement for your injuries and losses