According to the crash statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation, traffic deaths in large truck accidents increased by 4.1 percent from 2015 to 2016 to 4,067 deaths. This is the highest rate since 2008.
As in years before, the clear majority of deaths were sustained by people outside of the truck. Only 16.4 percent of the fatalities were people inside the large truck. Non-occupants, such as pedestrians, comprised 10.1 percent of the fatalities and the occupants of other vehicles represented the remaining 73.5 percent of people killed in large truck accidents during 2016.
When a person is injured in a large truck accident, the insurance company for the trucking company begins an immediate investigation. Damages in a large truck accident can be substantial because the injuries tend to be severe and life-altering. Therefore, the insurance company wants to limit its liability in any way possible. For that reason, it is in your best interest to contact a Louisville truck accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your right to receive full compensation for injuries.
Common Causes for Large Truck Accidents
Your Louisville truck accident attorney conducts an independent investigation to determine how the accident occurred. It is crucial to identify the responsible parties to increase your chance of receiving the maximum compensation allowable under Kentucky’s personal injury laws. This process begins with determining the cause of the large truck accident.
Common causes of large truck accidents include:
Driver error is a common cause of all traffic accidents, including large truck accidents. Examples of driver error include:
- Distracted driving, including texting, talking on cell phones, and reading
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Pressure from Trucking Companies
Trucking companies set unrealistic delivery schedule that they know will result in drivers exceeding safe speeds. Drivers are also pressured to drive more hours than they can safely driver without becoming overly tired and sleepy. Drivers often feel as if they have no choice but to take risks to meet these unrealistic deadlines.
Inexperienced or Improperly Trained Drivers
Driving a commercial vehicle is much different from driving a passenger vehicle. Drivers without sufficient experience and training don’t know how to handle various situations. This lack of experience and training can result in an increased risk of a traffic accident. Truck companies often cut costs by hiring untrained and inexperienced drivers.
Problems with Cargo
Unsecured cargo can shift causing the driver to lose control of the truck. Unsecured cargo can also fall off a flatbed truck causing a serious traffic accident. Overloaded cargo is also a problem. Trucks that are too heavy can overturn. Furthermore, overloaded cargo increases the time it takes the truck to stop in an emergency.
Large trucks require routine maintenance to operate safely. When a driver or company forgoes maintenance to save money, it places everyone on the road at risk.
Defective or Faulty Equipment
As with car parts, truck parts can be defective. A defective truck part can be a factor in a large truck accident. When an accident involves defective or faulty equipment, a third party may be liable for your damages.
Call a Louisville Truck Accident Attorney
Please don’t wait to seek help if you are injured in a large truck accident. Time is crucial because evidence can be lost or destroyed. We must begin an accident investigation as soon as possible to identify and preserve key evidence we will use to prove the other party caused the accident.