The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) keeps data on all traffic accidents. For 2014, the NHTSA reported:
- 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in traffic accidents
- Roughly two million people were injured in passenger vehicle accidents
- Ninety-six percent of the vehicles in police-reported accidents were passenger vehicles
- Of the vehicles involved in traffic crashes in 2014, seventy-eight percent of the fatal crashes involved a passenger vehicle
- 111,000 people were injured in accidents involving large trucks and 3,903 people were killed
- Of the people killed in large truck accidents, seventy-three percent were occupants in other vehicles
- Of the people injured in large truck accidents, seventy-four percent were occupants of other vehicles
Passenger vehicles must share the road with large trucks. The trucking industry is a billion-dollar business. Large trucks make it possible to transport large quantiles of goods across the country for a reasonable cost. Unfortunately, large trucks sharing our roads pose unique risks for other drivers.
A Collision Is Much Different When A Large Truck Is Involved
Car vs. Car collisions can result in traumatic injuries and death; however, Truck vs. Car collisions can pose greater risks for several reasons.
Size and Weight
Because of the size and weight of a commercial truck, a collision between the truck and a car will have a greater impact on the car than a car vs. car collision. As seen above, when a commercial truck is involved in a crash, the occupants of the passenger vehicle are at greater risk of injury and death. A passenger vehicle is simply no match for the commercial truck. The truck often crushes the passenger car completely in a collision. The force of the impact increases the risk of catastrophic injuries.
Drivers have rules and laws they must follow pursuant to Kentucky’s traffic code. Truck drivers must also follow these rules and laws too. However, the trucking industry is subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. If a truck driver or a trucking company violates the FMCS regulations, the driver and/or company may be held liable in the event a traffic accident. One regulation deals specifically with insurance. Trucks must have between $750,000 and $5 million in liability insurance to help ensure accident victim and their families receive the compensation they are entitled to receive in the even to a collision.
Location of Parties
Most drivers in car vs. car collisions are from the same state. In a truck vs. car collision, you may be dealing with an out-of-state truck driver and/or company. This does not change the laws regarding negligence and liability, but it can result in a more complex accident claim, especially if you must file a lawsuit to recover damages.
In some truck vs. car collisions, it is obvious that the truck driver is at fault for the accident. However, you may have multiple responsible parties in a truck accident case. The driver, the trucking company, the shipper, the manufacturer (defective vehicles and/or parts), or a repair shop (faulty repairs). A thorough accident investigation is required to identify all parties liable for your injuries.
Consult a Lexington Truck Accident Attorney
It is always important to consult an attorney after any traffic accident. However, it is vital to consult an attorney if a large truck is involved in the collision. Contact the Shelton Law Group by calling 1-888-761-7204 or by using our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with one of our Lexington truck accident attorneys.