Uncovering the cause of a truck accident involves timely investigation of the case, including documenting the scene, securing the vehicles and their component parts, securing black box data, securing witness statements, photographing key elements of the case, and documenting road design and maintenance defects.
It also involves utilizing the appropriate experts, including an accident reconstruction expert, knowledge of the most likely causes of the accident, and knowledge of where the “secrets are kept” by the truck driver and trucking company.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) stated in their last report (2002) that there were over 4,500 tractor‑trailers involved in fatal collisions with almost 5,000 total fatalities resulting from these wrecks. The overwhelming majority of tractor‑trailer wrecks occurred during daylight hours, during the work week (Monday through Friday), in good weather conditions, and on rural highways.
Specifically, 70 percent of fatal tractor‑trailer accidents happened during daylight hours and 85 percent of fatal tractor‑trailer accidents occurred between Monday and Friday. Over 80 percent of fatal tractor‑trailer accidents took place on dry roads in normal weather conditions. Almost 70 percent of fatal tractor‑trailer accidents happened on rural highways.
Another startling statistic revealed by the FMCSA and DOT studies is that tractor‑trailer driver error accounted for almost a third of the fatal accidents in the United States. Some of these factors included driving too fast for road conditions, running off the road, making improper turns, overcorrecting, and driver fatigue.
In addition, over 8 percent of tractor‑trailer drivers involved in fatal collisions had no commercial driver’s license and another 2 percent were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision. This is particularly significant since tractor‑trailers make up 8 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes each year. The number of tractor‑trailers on our roads has increased by over 40 percent in the past 20 years. Almost 8 million tractor‑trailers are currently registered in the United States.
These statistics illustrate the significant danger tractor‑trailers pose to today’s drivers and the special care that I and our firm take in pursuing cases arising from these crashes.
Some of the factors affecting the involvement of tractor‑trailers in such a substantial number of collisions involving fatalities and/or serious bodily injuries are the size and weight of the vehicle, the stopping distance, and maneuverability. In addition, the tractor‑trailer’s center of gravity is elevated, which naturally creates vehicular instability.
While tractor‑trailer drivers should be trained to drive these heavy and complex pieces of machinery, these dangerous vehicles are often poorly maintained and driven by tired truckers.
Uncovering the Cause of Truck Accidents is Difficult and Time Consuming
It is, however, the only way to fully understand all of the factors that may have led or contributed to the accident. A thorough truck accident investigation is vital to asserting fault against all of those who may be responsible. This is the only way that a full recovery can be obtained in a truck accident case.
We Have Substantial Experience Representing Truck Crash Victims and Their Families
If you have been injured in a truck crash or a family member has been killed, I and our team will work tirelessly to advance your case and seek to obtain for you the maximum recovery possible. Call us today so that we can get started on your case, and so that we can seek to have important evidence secured and preserved. We will meet with you for a free, no-obligation private consultation so that you may learn more about us, and so that we can learn about your case. There are no fees that will be due to us unless we recover for you.