October 27, 2016

Truck accidents are often devastating and can be caused by a number of factors, including fatigue, intoxication and illness.

Getting into an accident involving a large commercial truck is probably one of the most terrifying types of automobile accidents someone would ever face. Because of the size and speed of semi-trucks, they can cause devastating injuries and worse. Usually, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are the ones bearing the brunt of the injuries in a crash like this. Trucking accidents are also not rare: There were 166 fatalities related to large truck accidents in Pennsylvania in 2012, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Today’s many commercial industries mean that a large number of trucks can be sharing the state’s roadways at any time. According to Insurance News Net, each year about 100,000 people are seriously injured and more than 4,000 killed across the country in truck crashes. These accidents have markedly increased since 2009.

Common reasons for truck accidents

State Farm reports driver fatigue as one of the most common ways for a truck driver to cause a crash, and it’s no surprise: The trucking industry is known for its long hours, with truck drivers driving as many as 82 hours in a week. There are, of course, other factors that can contribute to an accident. These include:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, medications or illegal substances.
  • Improper load distribution or vehicle problems.
  • Poor weather or road conditions.
  • Speeding or careless driving.
  • Distracted driving, including texting or using the radio.

Illness or health problems can also play a part in an accident. This appeared to have been the case in a July crash on Interstate 81 in Franklin County, reported the Roanoke Times. Authorities said the driver of a big rig radioed another trucker driving behind him to let him know he wasn’t feeling well. Moments later, the truck drifted off the road and onto the median, then hit a cement storm drain and caught fire. Tragically, the truck driver did not survive. No one else was injured in this crash, but the situation could have easily been different.

The way that trucks handle can also contribute to an accident, says Edmunds. For example, these large, fast vehicles require extra time and room to slow down and avoid crashing into traffic ahead. Truckers can have difficulty seeing another vehicle in their blind spots or behind their trucks as well, making a right turn or lane change particularly dangerous.

Contacting an attorney

If you or a family member were seriously injured in a truck accident, you need a Firm on your side with the knowledge necessary to coordinate the complex issues they include. Call Drake, Hileman & Davis, and ask to speak with one of our litigation attorneys. You can even call us toll free at 888-635-6157, 24 hours a day, to set up a free consultation at one of our offices or at your home. Give us a call – we are ready to help