Why Are Truck Accidents So Dangerous?
We’ve all been there – driving down the interstate when, all of a sudden, the shadow of a large, 18-wheel truck is cast over your car from a nearby lane.
These semi-trucks play a critical role in delivering goods and supplies throughout the United States. But the sheer size and weight of the vehicles also make them one of the more dangerous companions to share the road with.
Between 2016 and 2020, there were just over 470 deaths in Mississippi due to a crash involving a large truck, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Crashes that occurred in Hinds County, Mississippi accounted for 29 of those deaths.
Nationwide, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that there were around 510,000 documented crashes involving large trucks in 2019. That number represents 13.6 fatal large truck crashes per million people in the United States, a 29 percent increase over 2010. Of the total, just under 4,500 of those crashes were fatal and approximately 114,000 resulted in injury.
If you or a loved one has been impacted or injured in a crash involving a large truck in Mississippi, the truck accident attorney at Germany Law Firm, PLLC may be able to help you recover compensation for the damages.
Just How Big is a Big Rig?
While there are more registered passenger cars on U.S. roads – in the range of about 280 million – the dangers that the approximately 2 million active semi-trucks present can be seen through the vehicle’s size.
Depending on the load, an average 18-wheeler can range anywhere from 10,000 to 80,000 pounds. The trucks typically stand about 13 feet tall, 72 feet long, and 8.5 feet wide.
For comparison, the Environmental Protection Agency reported in 2020 that the average passenger vehicle weighs about 4,156 pounds. The average length of a passenger car is around 14 feet.
The added weight and length of a commercial truck also contribute to maneuverability difficulties unique to driving the vehicle, such as additional blind spots as well as the possibility of jackknifes, rollovers, and tire blowout.
What Else Makes Truck Accidents Dangerous?
Although truck drivers must obtain a special commercial driver’s license to operate 18-wheelers, those behind the wheel of the vehicles are not immune to regular factors that cause tens of thousands of car accidents throughout the United States each year. Some examples include speeding, driving under the influence, and sleep deprivation.
In fact, according to one study conducted by Mitler et al. published in the National Library of Medicine, long-haul truck drivers obtained less sleep than what is required for adequate alertness.
The truck drivers averaged just over 5.1 hours of sleep per night in the study. Two of the drivers were detected to have experienced “stage 1 sleep while driving,” while 45 drivers were judged to have at least one, six-minute interval of drowsiness while driving.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been impacted by a large truck accident, Bob Germany of Germany Law Firm, PLLC has more than four decades of experience in providing exceptional legal counsel to victims of another party’s negligent behaviors.
Schedule a free consultation with the Jackson car accident attorney by calling (601) 401-6884.