Truck Accidents Often Lead to Fatalities

Truck Accidents Often Lead to FatalitiesTrucks play an essential role in transporting goods across the country, but accidents involving these large vehicles can have some devastating consequences. The aftermath of a truck accident in San Antonio can be highly traumatic and can leave a deep scar on the victims and their families. Due to their size and weight, these types of accidents often result in severe injuries and fatalities, making them a major public safety concern.

In the unfortunate event of being a victim of a fatal truck accident or sustaining injuries from such an incident, it is so important to have an experienced San Antonio truck accident attorney by your side. These legal professionals are well-equipped to provide support and guidance to families of victims, helping them navigate the complex legal process and obtain the justice they deserve. The consequences of a truck accident can be severe, impacting not only the physical well-being of the victims but also their financial and emotional stability. Fortunately, a skilled lawyer can help pursue compensation for various losses and damages, such as medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. With the assistance of an attorney, those affected by truck accidents can receive the financial support they need to move forward and rebuild their lives.

Exactly how common are truck accidents?

Statistics revealed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) show that the year 2020 witnessed a staggering 101,000 incidents of collisions involving large trucks resulting in injuries, and 4,444 resulting in fatalities. A significant number of those collisions occurred in Texas. According to data from the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2020 there were:

  • 22,225 collisions involving semi-trucks
  • 23,994 collisions involving other types of trucks
  • 659 deaths resulting from truck accidents (semis included)
  • 1,165 serious injuries resulting from truck accidents (semis included)

Truck accidents can be a spine-chilling sight due to their sheer enormity. In the event of a crash with an ordinary car, the truck’s size and weight can easily overpower the smaller vehicle, leaving the car’s occupants in a vulnerable position. The truck can forcefully drive the car off the road, flip it over, or crush it to smithereens. The FMCSA found that most truck-related accidents occurred during the night hours of 6pm to 6am when the outside environment was considerably darker. Shockingly, 37% of all fatal crashes, 24% of all injury crashes, and 20% of all property damage-only crashes took place during this period. The combination of darkness and the already-present substantial blind spots of trucks makes driving in their proximity even more hazardous.

Why do truck accidents happen so often?

Despite advances in technology like blind spot detection and lane departure warnings that come standard in many cars, truck accidents still occur at an alarming rate. Some of the main reasons why these accidents happen include driver fatigue and the large blind spots that are inherent to the design of most large trucks. These factors and others can make sharing the road with trucks dangerous, and it is essential to understand the risks and take appropriate precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones while driving.

Truck driver fatigue

Truck drivers, in particular, are susceptible to fatigue due to their extended hours on the road and unorthodox work schedules. Unlike many people part of the American workforce, truck drivers do not typically work the standard 9am to 5pm shift, leading them to disrupt their natural sleep cycle. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), if the driver’s work hours are not consistent, this makes them even more vulnerable to drowsy driving since they are unable to establish a regular sleep pattern.

Moreover, the work environment that truck drivers endure contributes significantly to the issue. In a recent study by the NSC, it was found that drivers work an average of 60 hours per week and drive more than 107,000 miles per year. Further, a staggering 73% of drivers surveyed believed that their delivery deadlines are unrealistic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some could make the connection that drivers may feel obligated to forego sleep in order to meet delivery schedule demands, leading to extreme fatigue on the road.

Unfortunately, this trend has also led to a high percentage of truck drivers experiencing accidents, with 35% of drivers reporting at least one crash in their career.

Large blind spots

The size of blind spots on standard passenger vehicles are nothing in comparison to those on a truck. To make matters worse, many drivers may underestimate the risks of driving in certain areas simply because they are unaware of the dangers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created a helpful video that outlines the locations of a truck’s blind spots. The video demonstrates that a truck’s blind spots are situated in the following areas:

  • Directly in front of the truck. This area encompasses the space directly in front of and below the truck’s cabin.
  • Behind the trailer. Similar to the front, being too close to the trailer or directly underneath it can result in being in a blind spot.
  • Halfway back from the driver’s side door. This covers the area from the driver’s side door across one traffic lane and extends behind nearly half of the trailer.
  • Halfway back from the passenger’s side door. This is the most extensive blind spot on a truck, making it also the most dangerous area to be in. This blind spot stretches across two traffic lanes, from the passenger’s side door, and extends behind nearly half of their trailer.

If you or a loved one was involved in a San Antonio truck accident, it is essential to have a skilled truck accident attorney on your side. Truck accident cases can be complex, and there may be multiple parties involved, such as the truck driver, the trucking company, and the manufacturer of the truck or its parts. Pat Maloney: Accident & Injury Attorney can help you navigate the legal system and work to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling our office in San Antonio or complete our contact form.