Nothing says “summer” for millions of American families like a road trip. Taking to the highways, seeing the sights and spending quality time together is a tradition that spans generations, no matter if the drive is across the state or across the country. For some unlucky families, though, their vacation will be cut short by a tragic car or truck accident.
Truck accidents are far too common, with nearly 500,000 of them happening every year. Many commercial vehicle accidents involve collisions with smaller passenger vehicles, something that can have dire consequences for the occupants given the massive size disparity between the two.
Truck accident injuries
Commercial semis and tractor-trailers are big, heavy and fast. That combination of speed and power comes at a steep price for anybody unlucky enough to be in the way. Truck accident injuries are often severe, and sometimes even fatal, and can include:
- Head trauma/traumatic brain injury
- Compound bone fractures
- Crush injuries
- Full or partial amputations
Such catastrophic injuries mean not only a long, painful recovery that could take months or even years, but also mountains of medical debt, lost wages, property damage and a loss of independence.
After the healing has begun, the question usually foremost in most people’s minds: why did this happen?
Causes of truck accidents
Like any motor vehicle accident, there are myriad reasons why trucks crash. There can be defects in the truck itself that properly performed routine maintenance would have discovered. An engine or brake component could fail suddenly because of a design flaw. A trucker could spill his morning coffee and take his eyes of the road just long enough to strike a slower-moving vehicle in front of him.
Even knowing that there are countless possible reasons why crashes happen, statistics do show some trends in truck accident causes, including:
- Truck driver fatigue, often caused because truckers are held to delivery standards that are unrealistic, forcing them to drive without adequate rest and even forge log books
- Driver distraction on either the part of the trucker or operators of passenger vehicles sharing the road, particularly caused by electronic gadgets like cell phones, laptops, text messaging and GPS devices
- Equipment flaw or failure, which could refer to tires, engine components, brakes, steering, trailer dislocation, jackknifes or roll-overs
- Driver inexperience handling adverse weather conditions, road surface issues or traffic
- Alcohol or drug use
No matter what the cause, if you were hurt in a truck accident, seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to learn more about your legal rights and options.