Traffic accidents that involve a large, commercial truck often result in fatal injuries to innocent motorists on the road. These large trucks have greater size, weight and power and overpower our smaller passenger vehicles. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were nearly 4,500 large trucks involved in fatal police-reported traffic accidents in 2006. Another 78,000 trucks were involved in accidents that resulted in injuries. Nearly 300,000 were involved in property damage only accidents.
Our Missouri trucking accident attorneys understand the dangers that come with these large vehicles. The average cost for one of these accidents is roughly $90,000. In 2010, there were nearly 5,600,000 commercial motor vehicle drivers on our roadways. More drivers means more trucks, which ultimately means more accidents.
To help avoid a trucking accident, follow these safety tips:
-Never follow a large truck too closely. If you're unable to see their rearview mirror, they are not able to see you or your vehicle. Always drive to where you can see the driver of the truck. This ensures that they can see you.
-Do not stay alongside a large truck longer than absolutely necessary. It is your best bet to pass them as quickly and safely as possibly.
-You should always pass on their left side as visibility is slightly better than on the right.
-When you are passing a truck, you should wait until there is an opening on the left that will enable you to quickly pass them, instead of hovering alongside.
-Never challenge a truck. Your vehicle is a lot smaller than a semi. If a truck driver is acting aggressively or making reckless decisions, it is in your best interest to let them pass.
-You should always report any unsafe driving. Never be afraid to report a trucker for reckless behavior. If you witness a driver that is swerving, speeding or risking other's lives on the road, you are urged to call the number on the back of his vehicle.
Death and serious injury are a very common result of accidents with these big rigs. Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, is one of the most common injuries sustained by those who survive a trucking accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Missouri witnessed more than 100 fatalities result from traffic accidents that involved a large truck in 2009 alone.
The following conditions can contribute to a trucking accident:
-Lack of training or experience on the part of the truck driver.
-Overloaded or oversized trucks failing to meet federal regulations.
-Poorly maintained truck brakes.
-Fatigued drivers. A number of drivers are overworked and driving on little amounts of rest.
-Failure to yield the right of way.
-Truck drivers driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
-Speeding and failing to adjust to current weather conditions.
-Aggressive driving behavior.
-Lacking an under-ride protection under-guard.
"We have seen the tragic consequences of unsafe practices - whether it's ignoring fatigue regulations, providing inadequate driver training or failing to conduct the proper maintenance of a bus or motorcoach. We continue using all of the tools at our disposal to get unsafe carriers off the road and hope that Congress will act on our proposal to provide us with the necessary authority to expand our safety oversight," says U.S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident in Missouri, call 1-888-777-AUTO (2886) today for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
Tractor Trailer Accident Kills Two in Perry County, Missouri, Missouri Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, July 8, 2011
Unsafe Vehicles Yanked from our Roadways to Decrease Risks of Missouri Truck Accidents, Missouri Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, July 4, 2011
Teen Dies in Missouri Trucking Accident - DOT Steps in to Raise Awareness of Inexperienced Teen Drivers and Truck Dangers, Missouri Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, July 1, 2011Attorney meetings by appointment only