According to preliminary data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 4,300 large trucks and buses were involved deadly crashes in 2015 - representing an 8 percent increase from the year before, and a shocking 26 percent increase from 2009.
Motorists in New York were particularly impacted in 2015 as they suffered 126 truck-related fatalities, a 29 percent increase from just one year earlier, according to FMCSA data.
Sadly, the reality is that there is likely no way in which to completely avoid all trucking accidents and their related fatalities. But, that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. In fact, indentifying the causes of trucking accidents is the first step toward making our roads safer. With this goal in mind, below are some of the most common causes of deadly trucking accidents:
- Driver negligence/error: While any driver can make a mistake, when a truck driver does it, people lives are put at risk. Whether a trucker is speeding, texting or intoxicated while driving, serious accidents are likely.
- Driver fatigue: Despite the fact that there are federal regulations in place that restrict how long a trucker can driver without taking break, many drivers choose to stretch these rules to the limits, or even break them.
- Equipment failure/negligent maintenance: If a trucking company fails to maintain its trucks or if a part/truck manufacturer puts a truck with faulty equipment on the road, they may be liable for any resulting injuries.
- Improper loading: When truck is unbalanced due to improper loading, it is prone to tipping. In other instances, cargo/loads can fall onto the roadway if they are improperly secured.
- Negligent hiring: A trucking company has a responsibility to protect the public from dangerous drivers, meaning it may be liable if it fails to check the background of its drivers before hiring them.
Given the sheer size of trucks and 18-wheelers, severe injuries and fatalities are likely when these large vehicles are involved in accidents. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a trucking accident, you deserve justice. Contact an experienced attorney today to learn what legal options may be available.