Large trucks present a risk to drivers on the road since trucks weigh much more than passenger vehicles and are more difficult to operate. Unfortunately, according to recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of fatalities involving large trucks rose between 2011 and 2012. People in vehicles other than the truck were most likely to be the ones who lose their lives to truck accidents.
Victims of truck collisions should consult with a personal injury attorney for help understanding their rights. Drivers and truckers should also follow best practices for safety to avoid becoming involved in a truck collision.
The Dangers of Truck Accidents
The NHTSA provided a comprehensive summary of data on truck accidents in 2012 to highlight the risk that these tractor-trailers and massive vehicles present to drivers. According to the recent report:
- A total of 3,921 people were killed in accidents involving large trucks in 2012. This is a four percent increase from 2011 in the number of fatalities.
- There were 104,000 people injured in large truck accidents in the U.S. in 2012.
- A total of 333,000 large trucks were involved in some type of motor vehicle collision over the course of 2012. Large trucks are defined as those with a vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or heavier.
- A total of 73 percent of people killed in large truck crashes were occupants of vehicles other than the truck. Only 18 percent were occupants of the truck and 10 percent were not occupants of any vehicle.
- From 2011 to 2012, there was a five percent increase in the number of occupants of vehicles other than the truck who lost their lives. The number of non-occupants killed in truck crashes decreased by 11 percent and the number of truckers killed increased by nine percent.
Drivers need to understand that a collision with a large truck can be extremely dangerous and need to do everything possible to prevent this from occurring. GEICO recently provided some tips for driving safely around large trucks, including:
- Avoiding “no zones” These are blind spots that exist around the sides, front and back of large trucks. Drivers need to remember that whenever they are unable to see the trucker in his mirrors, the trucker cannot see the car.
- Passing safely. Whenever a driver is trying to pass a truck, he should be sure that he can see the front of the truck in the rear-view mirror before pulling forward.
- Skipping confusing signaling. Some drivers think that flashing their headlights is a signal they want to change lanes. However, truckers can interpret this in different ways including as a sign that police are coming or as a sign the trucker should change lanes.
- Never swerving in the path of an oncoming truck. Because of their size, a truck could take a full football field’s length to stop.
By following these important safety tips, drivers can hopefully avoid deadly truck crashes and ensure that they do not become a statistic.
Our personal injury attorneys in Philadelphia are dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims. Contact Flager & Associates at 215-953-5200 or visit http://www.flagerlaw.com today to schedule a consultation.