Every year, around 475,000 large trucks are involved in crashes, with roughly 140,000 injuries and 5,000 deaths being the end result. In fact, truck accidents are not as rare as you might think they are. Nearly one in ten vehicles that were involved in deadly crashes nationwide during 2013 were large trucks. The reasons for these crashes were not substantially different from many passenger vehicle crashes:
- Driver error, such as “failing to look” before moving their vehicle, speeding, distraction, fatigue, DUI, and inexperience
- Other human error, such as shifting cargo resulting from overloading or improper loading
- Equipment failure, such as tire, brake, and transmission malfunctions
- Road condition failures, such as weather-related situations (icy or slick roads, fog, or high winds), road debris or obstructions, and poor signage.
However, sometimes truck accidents occur for reasons that can, at first glance, seem out of the ordinary or not immediately apparent.
Terminal Thursdays and Fatal Fridays
Did you realize that, for large-truck drivers who work a Monday through Friday schedule, Thursday is the deadliest day? Fridays, perhaps not so surprisingly, are a close second.
Here’s why: As we approach the end of the work week, we all tend to pay less attention and are more error-prone. By Thursdays, it seems that drivers are exhausted, stressed out, and more likely to make mistakes with seriously negative ramifications. A truck driver might not undertake the necessary safety checks or might not pay as close attention on the road as they should. In any case, the results can be tragic.
Major Highways Equal Major Accidents
If pressed, which type of road would you think is deadliest for truck crashes? An interstate, with its high speeds? A winding back road, with poor visibility?
Major highways have been found to be the deadliest roads for truck accidents. Over half of fatal crashes (53 percent) involving a truck happen on what are defined as major roads rather than on interstates and freeways. Major highways are those roads that have more traffic lights, and more entrances and exits, than controlled-access roads like interstates.
Large truck crashes on interstates and freeways were responsible for 30 percent of fatalities during 2015. Minor roads or back roads were the site of 14 percent of large-truck deaths.
You might believe that the most dangerous time to tangle with a large truck is late at night or during the early morning hours. But the surprising fact is that 50 percent of all fatal accidents involving large trucks occur between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m., with about one-third (32 percent) happening from 6 a.m. to noon. Why is this so? It’s likely that the sheer volume of traffic on the road is a big contributing factor—more vehicles mean more crashes. Also, the pressure to arrive someplace on time during business hours could be greater. Finally, there is plain old human error and recklessness, which, with more vehicles on the road, can be deadlier.
The least risky time for a fatal encounter with a large truck? That would be between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m., when only 16 percent of fatal accidents occur.
Truck Accident? Turn to Steve Heisler, The Injury Lawyer.
If you have been involved in a collision with a truck, you may be concerned about how you’re going to make ends meet. You may be confused about how to go about seeking compensation from the negligent driver. Steve Heisler has been helping injured people in Maryland for more than two decades with all types of vehicular accidents. Steve’s thorough investigation will uncover all potential defendants in your case, demanding just compensation for your medical expenses, rehabilitation, loss of income, and pain and suffering. If you lost a loved one because of a big rig driver’s negligence, Steve can help your family recover through a wrongful death lawsuit.
You’d better believe the trucking company and its insurer will have a team of lawyers to protect their interests. Call Steve Heisler, The Injury Lawyer, to protect yours. Call 1-410-625-4878 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation, or use our online contact form.