Vehicle accidents can cause major physical and emotional trauma. A collision with a large commercial semi-truck, big rig, 18-wheeler, or tractor trailer can be even more devastating. OSHA reported that about every year, 450,000 trucks weighing above 10,000 lbs. are in crashes that cause about 5,360 fatalities and 142,000 injuries. 74 percent of the fatalities were passengers in other vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that 86 percent of fatal large truck crashes involved heavy, large trucks in 2015.
Other 2015 truck crash statistics include the following facts:
- 116,000 people were injured.
- 433,000 large trucks were in traffic crashes reported on by the police.
- 4 percent increase in large truck crash fatalities from 2014, which had 3,908 deaths, and 2015 had 4,067.
If you or a loved one has been in a truck accident, you’re going to want a reliable Columbia, MO truck accident lawyer by your side. You’re trying to handle hospital bills, recovery, and getting back to work. Insurance companies might try to make you settle early and for less than what you should receive. But you don’t have to agree with this. An experienced injury attorney can help you get compensation for the damages this accident caused.
An experienced personal injury lawyer from Thomas Law Offices has the skill and dedication to fight for the compensation you deserve. We’ve represented people all over Missouri. In a truck accident case, you may get compensation for lost wages, your past medical expenses and in the future, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma. Your focus can return to recovering from your injuries and moving forward when you have a dependable lawyer fighting for your rights.
Demanding accountability for a tractor trailer accident will give you a voice that might have been overlooked had you not sought out your legal options. A guilty trucker or trucking agency could learn from this moment and promote safer practices. After being sued, an agency may adopt better safety protocols that put less pressure on truck drivers to drive when they’re exhausted, or they might enforce stricter hiring policies so they reduce the number of reckless truckers on the road.
What Causes Truck Accidents in Missouri?
Negligent truck drivers who make poor driving decisions can endanger everyone’s lives on the road. Reckless drivers don’t keep all their attention on the road, and don’t follow driving rules meant to keep everyone safe.
The Federal Highway Administration looked at unsafe driving acts that lead to truck-car collisions, and found some of the most common causes for accidents.
- Distracted Driving. Using a cell phone for texting, checking social media, and even calling will steal your attention from driving. Eating, drinking, and changing the radio station also distracts you.
- Improper Merging. Trucks need time to merge, and if the driver isn’t paying attention, they might have to slam on the brakes or make a quick decision but not have enough time for it.
- Not Stopping at a Light or Stop Sign. Ignoring stop lights and stop signs will interfere with oncoming traffic.
- Not Slowing Down for Construction. Road construction often creates traffic, and drivers should proceed with caution through the site. Refusing to slow down could easily cause a collision.
- Speeding. Going too fast for the speed limit reduces the driver’s control of the vehicle and will increase the chances of an accident happening.
When you’re in a semi-truck accident and you’re not at fault, your first reaction might be to blame the truck driver. While that’s a possibility, it isn’t necessarily true in every case. The manufacturer or distributor could have made a mistake that caused the truck’s system to fail, like the brakes or the steering wheel, which caused the crash.
Avoiding Truck Accidents: 4 Crucial Blind Spots
Trucks have four “no zones” where you shouldn’t drive. While it’s okay to be in these spots momentarily, you shouldn’t stay in a no zone for a prolonged period.
- Front of the Truck. Drivers have difficulty seeing up to 20 feet in front of their truck. If you’re driving ahead of a truck, try to put more distance between you and the truck.
- Left Side. The driver won’t be able to see a car in the lane directly to its left. Don’t linger in this spot on the road.
- Right Side. A truck driver’s blind spot extends to two lanes on the right side. It’s best to stay ahead of or behind the truck.
- Behind the Truck. Avoid driving within 30 feet of the back of the truck. The driver can’t see you and it takes longer for large trucks to slow down.
Because trailer tractor drivers have these blind spots, it’s best to drive with caution when you’re passing a truck on the highway.
After a truck accident, there will be a police report to file. The police will help determine the cause of the accident. When speaking to police, only report the facts. Guessing or trying to fill in details could affect you later. It’s also important to not apologize for the crash. Even if you weren’t at fault, you might tell someone you’re sorry, meaning that you’re sorry this happened in the first place. But, others could see this as admitting fault.
A Columbia, MO truck accident lawyer can help you and tell you what information you can provide and what you can keep to yourself. With Thomas Law Offices on your side, we’ll look out for your best interests and answer your questions or concerns with the case. Contact our Columbia office to learn more.