Semi-truck accidents can have consequences for all involved. Because of their size and weight, semi-trucks face driving challenges that include acceleration, braking, and maneuverability. When they collide with small vehicles, passengers are much more likely to die or sustain severe injuries. Common injuries are neck, head, and spinal cord injuries; traumatic brain injuries and burns, cuts, bruises, and broken bones.
Sadly, the number of deadly truck accidents is increasing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that deaths increased from 38,824 in 2020 to 42,915 in 2021. Of the 42,915 deaths, 5,601 were caused by heavy trucks, defined by the government as any truck weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Trucks can increase in weight to 70,000 pounds or more.
Common Reasons for Accidents
Driver fatigue is a common cause of truck accidents. To make their deliveries on time, drivers often must work long hours, sometimes without sleep. Federal rules that restrict the hours they are legally allowed to drive in a day are often ignored.
Another reason for more accidents is the lack, of sufficient driver training. According to a recent survey by the American Trucking Association, there was a shortage of 78,000 drivers in 2022. With such a high turnover, some trucking companies are forced to shorten the amount of time for training their new drivers to get then get them on the road as soon as possible.
Defective products can lead to accidents. Semi-truck were built for long hours on the road, but there are times when parts do not hold up. Brakes can fail. Routine maintenance is deferred. Improper loading, lack of safety lights, weather conditions, distracted driving, and driving while impaired can all contribute to an accident that often turns fatal.
Steps to Take after an Accident
If you are involved in an accident – any accident – there are steps you should take immediately. If there are injuries, notify emergency personnel. Do not stand on the road or highway while waiting for them to arrive, since this may obstruct traffic and result in more accidents.
Even if your injuries are minor, seek medical attention, since they could become more serious later. Take photos at the scene if possible to use as evidence later on. Jot down notes that may jog your memory about details of the accident.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
The complexities of dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident can be confusing. Consider contacting an experienced Chicago truck accident attorney immediately to help make the situation less stressful and to ensure a more favorable outcome. An experienced attorney can seek compensation for lost wages, reduced future earnings, present and future medical expenses, impaired quality of life, and pain and suffering.
Smith LaCien LLP has extensive experience representing victims of truck crashes. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to accident victims and their families and handle cases on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless we win. To learn more about how we can help you, call us at (312) 509-8900 or contact us using our online form.