The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a large truck as one with a weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds. For example, many tractor trailers that haul goods and equipment across the country fit into this category. The highways in and around Orange County are dotted with countless numbers of these trucks on any given day.
Although large trucks serve an important function, they also pose substantial dangers to other people that share the roadways with them. The NHTSA reports that in 2012, nearly 4,000 people died as a result of crashes involving large trucks. This marked a four percent increase from the prior year. In addition, roughly 104,000 people suffered injuries in such crashes, which was an 18 percent increase from the 2011 numbers.
Throughout the country, a staggering 333,000 large trucks were involved in accidents in 2012.
When a smaller vehicle, like a car or SUV, is involved in an accident with one of these enormous trucks, the people in the smaller vehicle are likely to suffer substantial injuries and damage. A typical passenger vehicle simply cannot withstand the crushing size and weight of a collision with a large truck.
Although federal regulations apply to many aspects of trucking, drivers still put in long hours on the road. This means that truck driver fatigue is a common factor when it comes to accidents. Furthermore, improper truck maintenance can be the culprit behind a truck accident.
When another driver is the victim of a truck accident, they can file legal claims against the driver and possibly the truck company. Likewise, family members who lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident also have legal rights to seek compensation.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Traffic Safety Facts," Accessed Aug. 6, 2014