Large trucks and commercial vehicles play an important role in the movement of goods across the United States. It is not uncommon for Connecticut residents to see massive semis, tankers, and other big commercial vehicles traveling down roads and highways throughout Hartford. They are often tasked with making pick-ups and deliveries to different businesses on tight schedules.
Unfortunately, when large trucks are involved in motor vehicle accidents, the results can be deadly for those involved. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 4,700 people lost their lives in truck accidents in the United States in 2017. That was nearly a 9% increase in fatalities over the prior year. When truck accident fatalities happen, surviving victims and loved ones can be left to pick up the pieces of their lives and find ways to cope with the costs of their losses.
Most victims of truck accidents are outside of the rigs
According to NHTSA data, more than 80% of the fatalities caused by truck accidents in 2017 were victims outside of the involved rigs. Those victims included individuals in other vehicles affected by the crashes and victims outside of vehicles, such as those on bikes and pedestrians. Due to their relative size and mass, trucks can protect their negligent drivers even when they cause fatal injuries to victims.
Common causes of truck accidents
Truck accident-caused fatalities are a huge problem across the country, and often these accidents are preventable. In some cases, fatal truck accidents are caused by the negligent or reckless actions of truck drivers. Data from NHTSA reports that 3% of fatal truck accidents are caused by truckers driving with illegal blood alcohol concentration levels.
Other truck driver actions that can cause preventable accidents include:
- Driving too long or late in violation of hours-of-service regulations
- Inadequate training or experience driving rigs
- Unsafe driving for roadway or weather conditions
- Failure to obtain the proper licensure to drive rigs
By taking proactive steps, many fatal truck accidents could be avoided.
Dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident fatality
There is no way to fully compensate a person who has lost a loved on in a fatal truck accident. The pain of the emotional hole left by the absence may never fully resolve. However, victims in this tragic situation may have options for recovering their financial losses from such collisions. Personal injury causes of action can provide survivors and grieving loved ones with legal options for securing their damages and seeking relief from the financial burdens of losing a loved one in a crash.