Car accidents are very common, and many of them are minor incidents that leave people feeling shaken, but unharmed. Others can be more serious, resulting in trips to the hospital, broken bones, and other injuries.
Then there are those that result in significant, lasting harm or even a loss of life. These can come about from two smaller vehicles colliding, but they can also be the result of a car or truck coming into contact with an 18 wheeler. When that occurs, the potential for serious damage is much higher, simply due to the size and weight of the 18 wheeler and the risk it can pose to smaller vehicles.
How many accidents happen per year?
In the United States, there were 411,000 crashes that involved large trucks in 2014, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. While that may not seem like many considering the number of vehicles traveling the roadways, every accident is one too many for the people who are involved in it.
Whether it comes from careless driving or something unavoidable happens right in front of them, getting into an accident can be very difficult to deal with for those who are a part of these collisions. The damage to the vehicle and the people inside can be serious, especially when a large truck is involved.
How many of these accidents result in deaths?
Of all the 18 wheeler accidents during 2014, nearly 3,500 were fatal collisions where at least one person was killed, according to FMCSA data. In the vast majority of these accidents, the person killed was not the driver of the 18 wheeler, but the driver of, or a passenger in, a car, light truck, or SUV.
While that is not to say that 18 wheeler drivers are never killed in crashes, they have much more safety and security in the cab of such a large vehicle than smaller vehicles can provide. This makes the chances of a fatality lower for the truck driver and higher for people in the other vehicle.
Is Texas worse for 18 wheeler accidents?
Unfortunately for Texas drivers, the highest number of fatal traffic crashes involving 18 wheelers occurred in their state. In 2013, for example, more than 500 people died on Texas roads as a result of accidents that involved an 18 wheeler coming into contact with a smaller vehicle.
Many other accidents of this type that did not result in fatalities still meant the need for medical care, sometimes on a prolonged basis. With Texas being a dangerous place for large truck accidents, there are still things people can do in order to help protect themselves from this type of damage.
Why are 18 wheelers so dangerous?
An 18 wheeler is generally considered to be more dangerous than a car or other smaller vehicle because of its size and weight. These 18 wheelers can weigh 80,000 pounds, and when they are traveling at road speed it becomes very difficult to stop them quickly and safely. Whether the driver of the 18 wheeler makes a mistake behind the wheel or the driver of a car is at fault, the collision between the two can be extremely significant.
Most people get injured from the force of the impact, and from the crushing or crumpling that takes place as their vehicle is struck by a larger, heavier object. Broken bones, cuts, bruises, strains, sprains, and head injuries are all common problems for those whose cars are struck by an 18 wheeler.
How can you be safer when driving around 18 wheelers?
For those who are involved in an 18 wheeler accident there are options for recovering physically and financially. However, the goal is to avoid the accident entirely. Allowing the truck plenty of room, signaling your turns ahead of time, and not driving in the truck’s blind spots are all ways you can help avoid an accident. Additionally, you can make sure you slow down on roads that are wet or snowy, and pay close attention to the traffic around you. Also watch for turn signals and brake lights if you are following an 18 wheeler, so you can stop safely and so you avoid being in the way when the truck is making a wider turn to get onto a side street. Overall, due diligence can really pay off when avoiding an accident with a 18 wheeler.
If you have been involved in a accident with an 18-wheeler or another type of truck, contact Felix Gonzalez Law Firm. We can help you receive the compensation you deserve and need in order to deal with the aftermath of a trucking accident.