Fatal motor vehicle accidents involving large trucks are increasing in Michigan and across the United States. In fact, federal statistics show that deadly large truck accidents hit a 30-year high in 2019.
Large truck accidents on the rise
Large trucks are considered all vehicles that weigh over 10,000 pounds. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the overall number of U.S. traffic deaths dipped from 36,560 in 2018 to 36,120 in 2019. Despite that slight decrease, the number of deaths from large truck accidents increased by 1%.
Traffic safety analysts say there are a number of ways to reduce large truck accidents and deaths. Most of their recommendations focus on decreasing the risk of truck driver error. For example, distracted driving is a major problem for all American drivers, including commercial truck operators. As a result, analysts urge truck drivers to avoid using their cell phones, eating or listening to loud music while behind the wheel. Meanwhile, truck driver fatigue is a growing problem in the commercial trucking industry. To combat drowsiness, truck drivers should get plenty of sleep before shifts and take a 15-minute break every two hours when operating a vehicle. Finally, safety advocates remind truck drivers to avoid speeding, reckless driving and using drugs or alcohol when behind the wheel.
Victims of truck accidents often suffer catastrophic injuries that leave them unable to work for weeks or months. In some cases, victims are left with permanent disabilities. To recover medical expenses and other losses, an injured victim may have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver and trucking company responsible for the crash. An attorney could help a client prepare their claim and negotiate a fair settlement.