Statistics highlight truck accident dangers
Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

Semi trucks and other large trucks are an essential part of commerce in Virginia. However, there are issues to contend with when it comes to delivering goods with semi trucks - particularly the risk that a semi truck driver could get into an accident with a smaller automobile.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2014 as many as 3,660 individuals lost their lives in accidents involving large trucks. Sixty-eight percent of those killed were occupants of the smaller vehicle involved in the collision. Fifteen percent of large truck accident victims were bicyclists, motorcyclists or pedestrians. Moreover, 2014 saw a 16 percent increase in the number of large truck accident fatalities when compared to 2009, the year with the fewest fatalities since the data began to be collected in 1975.

One big issue with semi truck accidents is that semi trucks can be as much as 30 times heavier than a standard automobile, giving them much greater force in a collision. In addition, semi trucks have a larger ground clearance when compared to standard automobiles, meaning that smaller vehicles can be pushed under the semi truck in a collision.

In addition, a fully loaded semi truck can require as much as 40 percent more distance to come to a complete stop than a standard automobile. This stopping distance is increased in poor weather conditions or if the truck's brakes are not properly maintained. Moreover, drowsy driving is an issue with some truck drivers. While there are federal safety regulations regarding how long a truck driver can be on the road and how long he or she must rest, but these laws are often violated.

When a large truck collides with a smaller vehicle, it is mostly likely the occupants of the smaller vehicle who will come out worst. A negligent truck driver who causes an accident may be held responsible for the damages the accident victim suffered. In the end, it is important that truck drivers take every possible measure to avoid an accident.

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