According to data supplied by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), fatal large truck crashes in the U.S. increased by 330% from 2015 to 2018.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a study of its own concerning truck crashes in North Carolina. How do truck-car crashes happen?
How truck crashes occur
The FMCSA monitors commercial truck crashes and advises truckers and their employers on ways to reduce the dangers associated with driving these large vehicles. In 2017, data shows that another vehicle, animal or other objects that encroached into the truck’s lane was responsible for 73% of fatal truck crashes. Overloaded cargo is another reason for a truck to crash. A report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety disclosed that vehicle defects were responsible for three-quarters of the North Carolina truck crashes studied and that driver fatigue was also a serious issue. Drivers who spent 12 hours or more behind the wheel were almost 86% more likely to have an accident.
Why prompt investigations are necessary
Prompt crash site investigations are essential after a truck-car accident because evidence can disappear quickly due largely to passing traffic, wind or inclement weather. In addition, most large trucks have “black boxes,” data recorders that help investigators understand what happened in the moments before the crash occurred.
Who is liable
In a truck-car crash, liability might extend to several parties including the truck driver, the trucking company, the maintenance company and possibly those responsible for loading the cargo. The victim of such a crash might sustain devastating injuries and has the right to expect maximum compensation to cover medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.