Truck accidents are often deadly because the force and size of the truck can have a devastating impact on a standard passenger vehicle. Truckers need to do their part to operate their vehicles safely and to follow the rules of the road. However, drivers also need to understand the risks that truck accidents present and should do everything possible to avoid becoming an accident victim.
Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the number of truck accident deaths is on the rise. This is an important wake-up call to motorists to remember to follow safety rules. Those who are hurt or people whose family members are killed in a trucking accident should also consult with a personal injury lawyer for help pursuing a claim for compensation.
Truck Accident Death Rate Rising
The NHTSA data showed that the number of truck accident deaths increased from 2011 to 2012. There were 3,921 people killed in large truck accidents in 2012, which was a four percent increase compared with the number killed in 2011.
Large trucks are defined by the NHTSA as vehicles that have a gross weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more. Trucks meeting this description were in a total of 330,000 accidents over the course of 2012. In total over the course of that year, there were 104,000 people injured in truck collisions in addition to the almost 4,000 deaths.
Truck accidents were most likely to cause fatalities to non-truck occupants. Drivers and passengers in other vehicles accounted for 73 percent of the victims who lose their lives in collisions with large trucks. People who were not in any vehicle at all accounted for 10 percent of the deaths and truckers made up 18 percent of victims.
The number of people who were not vehicle occupants who were killed in truck crashes went down in 2012, but there was a significant increase in both trucker fatalities and in fatalities among occupants of other vehicles. Five percent more people in other vehicles died in 2012 and nine percent more truckers were killed.
Because trucks can be so dangerous and cause such a significant risk of death among people in cars, motorists need to ensure that they are doing everything possible to try to reduce the risk they will become involved in an accident. Geico has provided some tips to drivers to follow related to truck blind spots; truck stopping distances; and passing.
Drivers are urged to remember that trucks have larger blind spots than passenger cars. To tell whether a trucker can see you or not, check if you can see him in the truck’s mirrors. If you cannot, you are in the “no-zone” or blind spot and you are at risk because the trucker is not able to see you.
Drivers should also be sure that they can see the truck’s front in their rear view mirror before pulling over when passing and should avoid ever cutting off a truck because trucks have such large blind spots.
Contact a Buffalo personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of James Morris at 1-800-477-9040 or visit http://www.jamesmorrislaw.com. Attorney advertising.