One of the most destructive accidents that occur on America’s roads is large truck accidents. These vehicles are massive in size and weight, often hauling tons of freight, barreling down highways as they travel from one side of the country to the other. It is crucial that the driver operating the truck is thoroughly trained and has extensive experience in knowing how to maneuver these huge vehicles, as well as deal with a variety of possible mechanical failures that trucks are susceptible to. Unfortunately, where there is a truck crash, the outcome is often catastrophic injuries and death.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has conducted extensive studies on truck crashes and have identified certain common causes of these crashes. In one study, the agency examined 963 crashes that involved just over 1,100 large trucks and almost 1,000 other types of vehicles. There was a total of 249 deaths and 1,654 victims injured. Approximately 75 percent of the truck in these crashes were semi-trailer trucks and 5 percent has been transporting hazardous materials at the time of the accident. Just under 75 percent of the crashes involved more than one vehicle.
The study used two definitions in their data, critical events and critical reasons:
- Critical Event: The action or event that put the vehicle or vehicles in a course which made the crash unavoidable.
- Critical Reason: The reason the critical event occurred.
In the FMCSA study, 32 percent of the critical events involved the trucks driving out of their lane, either into a different lane or off the road. Another 29 percent of critical events lost control because they were driving too fast for the conditions, the freight they were carrying shifted, the truck had mechanical issues, or there were poor road conditions. And 22 percent of critical events were trucks crashing into the back of the vehicle in front of them.
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Victims of Truck Crashes
Truck accidents are more complex than other types of vehicle accidents and often have more than one at-fault party. Victims of truck accidents should consider retaining the services of an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney who will conduct a thorough investigation of the crash, including obtaining the driving and employment record of the truck driver, maintenance records, and other critical information which will help determine the cause of the crash and which parties are responsible.
If you or a family member has been injured in a truck accident, or if you have lost a loved one in a crash, contact a seasoned Virginia truck accident attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have. Even if it is not entirely clear who is the at-fault party, a Va. injury attorney will be able to determine which party or parties are liable. At Shapiro & Appleton, our injury attorneys have represented numerous truck accident victims and have the legal expertise to handle these complex cases with positive results.