People traveling in small vehicles alongside tractor-trailers are more susceptible to serious injury in the case of an accident. Commercial trucks can weigh 20-30 times that of a passenger vehicle. The differences in height between tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles can cause cars to underride commercial trucks leading to devastating accidents. If you are involved in an accident with a big rig, then a Georgia tractor-trailer accident attorney can answer your questions, represent your case, and help you recuperate compensation for your injuries.
Tractor-Trailer Accident Statistics
Semi-truck accidents can be particularly devastating. In 2019, according to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, there were 204 fatalities involving accidents with large trucks. The following data provided by the U.S Department of Transportation in 2018 can also provide insight into the frequency and effects of tractor-trailer accidents:
- 4,136 people died in large truck crashes with 16% of these deaths were truck occupants, 67% were passenger vehicle occupants, and 15% were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.
- The number of truck occupants who died was 51 percent higher than in 2009.
- 11% of all crash deaths occurred in large truck crashes.
- 74% of deaths in large truck crashes involved tractor-trailers and 27% were involved in single-unit trucks. Some truck accidents involved a tractor-trailer and a single-unit truck.
- 62% of large truck occupants killed in multiple-vehicle crashes involved another large truck.
- 12% of all passenger vehicle occupant deaths and 22% of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in multiple-vehicle crashes occurred in crashes with large trucks.
- 52% of deaths in large truck crashes occurred on major roads other than interstates and freeways, 33% occurred on interstates and freeways, and 14% occurred on minor roads.
- 50% of large truck crash deaths occurred from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., compared with 30% of crash deaths not involving large trucks.
- 45% of large truck occupant deaths occurred in crashes in which their vehicles rolled over. This was higher than the percentage of pickup or SUV occupant deaths that occurred in rollover crashes and much higher than the percentage of occupant deaths in cars (20%) involving rollovers.
- 59% of large truck occupant deaths occurred in single-vehicle crashes, compared with 45% of passenger vehicle occupant deaths.
- Large truck drivers killed in fatal crashes rarely have high blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) because tractor-trailer drivers are subject to strict government regulations concerning drinking and driving. Only 3% of fatally injured large truck drivers had BACs at or above 0.08 percent, down from 17% in 1982.
Georgia Tractor-Trailer Accident Causes
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) outlined ten main factors that contribute to tractor-trailer accidents. There are hundreds of factors that may lead to an accident but the following were found to be the most common:
- Brake malfunctions
- Traffic flow interruption caused by congestion or another accident
- Using prescription drugs while driving
- Driving too fast in poor conditions
- Roadway unfamiliarity
- Problems with the roadway
- Failure to stop in places that require it like at intersections, in crosswalks, or due to traffic control devices
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Poor surveillance of other travelers, conditions, and environment
- Fatigue or falling asleep at the wheel.
All tractor-trailer accidents can be contributed to one of two factors: the vehicle and the driver. Georgia tractor-trailer drivers need to avoid distractions, get enough rest, follow the law, and be familiar with the weather and road conditions where they’ll be driving to evade accidents. The status of the vehicle also plays a role so performing routine maintenance and managing the tires, brakes, steering, suspension, and securing the cargo is necessary to ensure tractor-trailer safety.
Georgia Tractor-Trailer Accident Recovery
When semi-truck accidents happen they have a tremendous effect on everyone involved due to the size, weight, and height of those vehicles. Also, big rig drivers go through special training and have to obtain a special license to drive tractor-trailers but human error is still an associating factor.
Tractor-trailer accident attorneys conduct investigations to determine who is liable for the accident which can be tricky in tractor-trailer cases. Truck accident attorneys also can help victims recuperate monetary compensation for their injuries. If you’ve been involved in an accident, and are recovering from your injuries, or someone you love was killed due to the negligence of a commercial vehicle driver, then contact a professional Georgia tractor-trailer accident attorney to discuss your rights.