Commercial trucks are a highly common sight on the roads and highways in and around Philadelphia. Regularly driving in close proximity to these large, heavy vehicles may cause you to wonder what would happen if you were in a crash with a semi-truck. In addition, news headlines are regularly reporting that truck drivers who were overly fatigued, distracted, or otherwise negligent caused a serious crash. This can lead to the question: Do truck drivers cause most Philadelphia accidents?
The following is some brief information regarding the connection between truck driver error and traffic accidents in Philly and throughout the United States. If you have questions regarding your specific crash and injuries, please do not hesitate to call our car accident law firm today.
Trucks Are Involved in Many Crashes Across the U.S.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported statistics that indicate that 12,092,091 commercial vehicles were registered in the U.S. in recent years, which makes up about 4.5 percent of the total number of registered motor vehicles. However, there were more than 6.2 million traffic-related accidents reported in one year and about 476,000 of those accidents involved at least one commercial vehicle. This means that about 7.6 percent of traffic accidents involved a tractor-trailer or another type of large truck. This also means that proportionally, commercial vehicles are involved in a greater number of accidents per registered vehicles than smaller personal vehicles.
Commercial truck accidents caused about 97,000 injuries in 2015, and that number has steadily been on the rise. Trucks may not cause the majority of traffic accidents, however, they do cause a substantial number of injuries, and truck accidents tend to be severe. For this reason, it is important to understand the main causes of truck accidents and the role the truck driver plays in these crashes.
Truck Driver Negligence is the Top Cause of Accidents in Which the Truck is Found at Fault
The FMCSA has published the results of a study the agency conducted seeking insight into the major causes of truck accidents. The study revealed what many people may have already suspected—that of the accidents in which the truck was assigned the reason for the crash, the significant majority were caused by errors committed by the commercial driver.
Specifically, the following are the most common driver errors cited as causes of crashes, in order of prevalence:
- Use of prescription drugs
- Being unfamiliar with a particular road
- Use of over-the-counter drugs
- Inadequate surveillance
- Fatigued driving
- Unlawful driving maneuvers
- Not paying attention
- Being distracted by something outside the truck
- Failing to execute a sufficient evasive action to avoid a crash
- Aggressive driving
- Being unfamiliar with a particular truck
- Making wrong assumptions about the actions of other drivers
- Accepting too many loads
- Having a conversation
- Feeling pressured to drive while fatigued
- Misjudging distance between vehicles
- Being in a hurry
- Being distracted by something inside the truck
- Use of illegal drugs
- Being upset about something
- Use of alcohol
- Poor judgment or decision-making
- Physical factors regarding vision or movement limitations
- Emotional factors, including depression
As you can see, truck drivers can cause accidents for many reasons, and the above are only some of the most common. In these instances, a truck driver who negligently caused you harm should be held liable for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
When a truck driver is negligent, it is important to realize that their employer may also be held liable for errors the driver made on the job. Seeking compensation from both the trucking company and the driver can often result in a high payout since the trucking company may have more substantial insurance coverage. However, these cases can also be challenging as companies will seek to avoid any liability whenever they can. Taking on a corporation in court can be intimidating. Yet, with the right resources, it is possible for injured truck accident victims to receive the full amount they deserve.
Contact a Philadelphia Truck Accident Attorney for Assistance
Truck accident cases can be complex, even when it is clear that the driver made an error on the road. At The Levin Firm, we understand how to thoroughly investigate the cause of a truck accident and stand up for the rights of victims to financially recover from negligent drivers and their employers. Following a crash, you should never hesitate to discuss what happened with an experienced Philadelphia truck accident lawyer. Call us today at 215-825-5183 for a free consultation.