On this blog, we often discuss the fact that many accidents involving huge tractor-trailers are ultimately fatal for other motorists in smaller vehicles. This is largely due to the many elements of a truck that are required for them to serve their function: they are typically the largest vehicles on the road, they can weigh tens of thousands of pounds and the men and women who operate them spend hours behind the wheel.
When commercial trucks are involved in an accident, the size and weight of the vehicle, combined with the potentially drowsy or distracted state of the trucker, can all pose a threat to other motorists. However, according to a recent report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, this threat is changing.
The report notes that the number of fatal truck accidents decreased by 5-6 percent in 2014, which is the most recent year these statistics are available. This is certainly good news.
However, the bad news is that the number of injuries suffered in a trucking accident increased by a whopping 21 percent.
A spokesperson for the FMCSA has stated that technological advancements introduced in the trucking industry have led to fewer fatalities in accidents. Additionally, shifts in drive times have put trucks in the position of getting caught in traffic more often, which means that more accidents are happening during rush hour and, therefore, at lower speeds.
What this all means is that the number of trucking accidents is still a very real concern. However, instead of victims being killed in these collisions, they are able to survive them. Unfortunately, many who survive will still suffer from catastrophic injuries. This might include conditions like brain damage, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, amputations, multiple broken bones and severe burns and lacerations.
While it is certainly good news that more trucking accidents are survivable, victims of these crashes and their families do not walk away from them damage-free.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a commercial vehicle, you can take legal action to hold the trucker, truck owner, employer or other party accountable for the considerable damages you will likely be coping with. Discussing your options with an attorney will be critical.