In 2012, there were four percent more fatalities in truck accidents than in 2011. This news from a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report means drivers and truckers alike should take the time to understand the risks. Truck accidents can often be prevented if drivers remember the rules of the road and do what they can to stay safe.
Unfortunately, sometimes collisions occur when a trucker is negligent or disobeys the rules of the road. A personal injury lawyer can help victims to take legal action after a collision causes injury or results in the death of a loved one.
Avoiding Truck Collisions Is More Important Than Ever
The NHTSA's recent report on truck crashes contained some sobering information for drivers. According to the report:
- There were 3,921 people who lose their lives in accidents involving large trucks in 2012. Large trucks are defined as vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating exceeding 10,000 pounds.
- In total, 333,000 large trucks were involved in collisions over the course of 2012. In addition to the deaths, another 104,000 people got hurt in truck accidents.
- Occupants of vehicles other than the truck accounted for 73 percent of truck accident fatalities, and people who were not in any vehicle accounted for 10 percent of the deaths. Just 18 percent of people killed in truck accidents were actually in the truck when the collision occurred.
- Between 2011 and 2012, the number of non-truck occupants killed in motor vehicle collisions increased by five percent. The number of people killed in truck accidents who were not in any vehicle at the time decreased by 11 percent and there was a nine percent increase in the number of truck occupants killed.
Drivers of passenger cars face the greatest risk of dying in a truck accident and need to do everything they can to avoid these types of serious accidents. GEICO has some tips for drivers including:
- Knowing where the "no zone" is. The "no zone" refers to the large blind spots that exist around the back, front and sides of passenger trucks. In general, drivers need to keep in mind that unless they can see the trucker in his mirrors, the trucker is not going to be able to see their vehicle.
- Avoiding ever swerving or pulling out in front of a truck driver. There is a very long stopping distance for trucks because of their size and once a trucker hits the brakes he may travel for a full football field length depending upon how fast he was going. If you've cut the trucker off, you could be hit.
- Passing carefully. Before you move over when passing a truck, be sure you can see the front of the truck in your rear-view mirror.
- Avoiding cutting in between the truck and the curb. Truckers may need to swing right when making a turn and you could be squeezed in between the truck and the curb if the trucker doesn't see you.
While negligent truckers can sometimes cause accidents, if drivers do their part to stay safe then the risk of truck accident deaths should hopefully decline.
If you or a loved one is injured in a traffic accident, visit http://www.davidglatthornlaw.com or contact David J. Glatthorn at 800-990-9394 to discuss your rights. Serving Palm Beach County and all of South Florida.