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2017’s U.S. Truck Casualties Saw a 16% Increase, But Why?

Published on Oct 23, 2018 at 2:03 pm in Trucking Accident.

On October 3, 2018, the Department of Transportation (DOT) reported that roadway fatalities were down two percent in 2017; however, that did not indicate an across-the-board trend because the casualties resulting from truck accident went up significantly.

DOT released the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) numbers but cautioned against thinking the decline pointed to a continuing pattern. This is because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported large truck occupant fatalities jumped 16 percent from 2016 to 2017 – from 725 to 841 deaths. Approximately 40 percent of those occupants were not wearing seatbelts, despite continued education efforts.

4 Things the Trucking Industry Can Do to Stop Accidents

Published on Sep 6, 2016 at 2:21 pm in Trucking Accident.

Trucking accidents are some of the most devastating accidents that occur on our highways every day. According to The New York Times, large trucks are disproportionately involved in fatal accidents, causing one-fourth of all traffic accidents which cause fatalities. This is in comparison to a mere 10% of overall non-fatal accidents. Big rigs and 18-wheelers carry an incredible amount of weight and force behind them, so when a truck accident occurs, the impact usually results in serious injuries or an unfortunate loss of life.

How to Avoid Being in a Truck Accident

Published on Apr 12, 2016 at 9:43 pm in Trucking Accident.

Driving alongside an 18-wheeler big rig or semi truck can be scary. Not only is the sheer size of a large truck intimidating, but at some point while sharing the road with one, we inevitably stop and think about just how devastating an accident with such a monstrous vehicle would be. Truck accidents can cause a horrendous amount of destruction due to how much weight and force they carry.

Luckily, there are a few things any driver can do to stay safe while sharing the road with large trucks. Here are some tips:

  • Always be especially alert when driving near a large trailer truck or big rig. Look out for any sudden swerves or movements.
  • Make sure you’re always visible to the driver of the truck. Trucks have massive blind spots and a higher cab, so it can be difficult for truck drivers to see passenger cars. Avoid driving in a truck’s blind spots and make yourself visible directly from the driver’s cab if possible. If you can see the driver in their mirror, they should be able to see you as well.
  • Turn your headlights on in conditions where the light is low to help truck drivers see your better.
  • Keep a safer difference than you normally would when following or driving alongside a large truck. Keep an extra lane between the truck and your vehicle if possible.
  • Give trucks as much room as possible when you notice they’re making a turn. The driver will need to make a wide turn and it may be wider than you expect. While waiting your turn at an intersection, for example, you may want to give the truck the entire intersection to make their turn before moving forward.
  • Give large trucks more space to stop. The larger the vehicle, the more time it takes for the driver to stop. Overcompensate if you have to. A large truck with full cargo can take as much as 300 yards to come to a complete stop from 60mph.
  • When driving around a large truck, plan your moves well ahead of time and give truck drivers more time to respond to your actions.
  • Use your turn signals earlier and merge/change lanes ahead of time. If you’re afraid of being too close to the truck and need to stop, alert the driver ahead of time with a quick “tap” on your brakes.
  • When passing a large truck, try and pass on the right side. The right side has fewer blind spots than the left.
  • Don’t stay directly next to a large trailer truck if you can avoid it. During high wind conditions, a trailer truck can swerve without warning or even blow over, causing a serious accident.

When it comes to the danger of big rig trucks and trailer trucks, it’s always better to be extra cautious on a day-to-day basis than pay a possible price later.

If, unfortunately, you do end up in an accident with a large truck and are injured, rest assured that there is help available to get you and your loved ones through the aftermath. Trucking companies will sometimes try and do everything they can to protect their corporation which may put your family in financial jeopardy. If you feel the accident was not your fault or that there may be complications, you have every right to seek legal representation.

A Louisville truck accident lawyer like Tad Thomas of Thomas Law Offices knows how to navigate a complicated lawsuit involving the trucking industry and can help you receive compensation to experience a safer, speedier recovery. Contact our Kentucky office for a free, no-obligation case consultation.

Truck Kills Four College Softball Players

Published on Oct 13, 2014 at 8:21 am in Trucking Accident.

In a tragic accident recently, a tractor-trailer crossed an Interstate median and crashed into a community college softball team bus, killing four of the players. Sadly, it appears the 18-wheel truck driver didn’t attempt to brake at all or move out of the way before the collision.

The accident happened near Davis, Oklahoma, where the North Central Texas College softball team was coming home Friday night from a scrimmage with the team from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma. The trucker was driving northbound on Interstate 35 at a point where the highway curves to the right, but the truck continued moving straight. The truck traveled 800 feet straight into the bus, driven by the team coach, badly damaging the driver’s side of the bus. The accident happened at about 9:00 p.m.

Three of the players, aged 18-20, were killed at the scene, and the fourth woman died in a hospital in Sulphur, Oklahoma. Two players were hospitalized at the Oklahoma University Medical Center, one in critical condition and one in fair condition. All of those who survived the crash, in both vehicles, were injured to some extent.

Can Safety Technology Make Trucks Safer?

Published on Sep 29, 2014 at 8:34 am in Trucking Accident.

Kentucky Truck LawyerTrucking companies are experimenting with new technologies that can help avoid crashes. With the number of trucking injuries – 3,900 fatalities and 100,000 injuries from truck crashes in 2012 – you’d think the federal government would do more to require that companies implement more safety devices.

So far, regulations have focused more on restricting the number of hours truckers drive in order to reduce accidents caused by fatigue. Fatigue is a major problem in the trucking industry. Truckers drive long hours on monotonous highways, often on night shift hours, which all create real sleep and fatigue problems. On top of that, the population of truck drivers are at high risk for sleep apnea, which means they don’t get restorative sleep when they do rest.