Semi Truck Accidents Are A Growing Problem
Large trucks, 18-wheelers and semi truck accidents killed or injured almost 111,000 Americans in 2006. From this number, almost 5,000 involved fatalities with the remaining 106,000 sustaining injuries from these semi truck accidents. Causes include many factors and are not limited to speeding, driver inexperience, fatigue of the drivers, poor weather conditions and alcohol/drug abuse. It goes without saying, heavy semi trucks should always be treated with caution.
Why Semi Accidents Occur
Lack of proper maintenance by the companies responsible for the routine safety checks and maintenance of semi trucks is often a major cause of semi truck accidents. These 18-wheeler accidents often involve injuries or death. Most people would argue that it’s the trucking company’s responsibility to make sure their semi trucks are operated and maintained in a safe manner. It’s in the best interest of not only the company, but also the driver and his potential victim, should he be involved in a semi truck accident. An improperly maintained semi truck or untrained driver is just an accident waiting to happen.
Heavy Loads Lead To Dangerous Driving
There has been a battle waged recently in six states within the trucking and shipping industry. The trucking companies want the weight of the semi trucks to be increased from the present levels of 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds. In addition, they want the legal length of the vehicles increased as well. Opponents contend that heavier and longer semi trucks are harder to control, cannot stop as quickly and are an overall more dangerous vehicle, often comparing them to an unguided out of control missile on the highway, thus increasing the number of semi truck accidents.
Damage to our nations roads and bridges are another factor that needs to be considered. It’s not just the shear weight of a fully loaded 18-wheeler that damages the roadway, but often 18-wheeler crashes involving dangerous or flammable cargo do additional damage to roads and bridges. The catastrophic bridge collapse of Interstate 35 in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2007 involved many large trucks. This was a tragedy that killed 13 people and left an additional 145 people injured.
Injuries Take Many Forms In Semi Truck Accidents
A semi truck accident that involves an automobile, the drivers and passengers of the automobiles has the odds stacked against them. They can end up with a list of injuries often including head and skull fractures, broken bones/ribs and burns that may result in scaring. Spinal cord injuries, neck and back injuries and other types of nerve damage are all too common and of course, unfortunately, wrongful death is all too often an outcome in a semi truck accident.
Just like automobile accidents, semi truck accidents may be preventable. It takes the right training, maintenance, regulations and enforcement of these regulations to reduce the number of semi truck accidents.