Fatal Truck Crashes Increase, Killing More People in Passenger Vehicles

Significantly more Americans are killed by large trucks year over year, according to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that bucks the general downward trend in U.S. traffic fatalities over the past decade. According to the report, semi-trucks and other large commercial trucks were involved in crashes that killed 4,317 people in 2016, a 5.4 percent in fatalities from the year prior. The death toll from tractor-trailer accidents and other big trucks is the highest it has been since 2007.

Can I Sue for Truck Injuries and Wrongful Death?

Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer Eric Hageman Calls for Trucking Companies to Increase Safety Measures

Through wrongful death lawsuit investigations, Pritzker Hageman’s truck crash legal team has uncovered specific information about mistakes, negligence, and causation for fatal truck accidents. But the bottom line is that 72.4 percent of the people killed in large truck crashes were occupants of other vehicles, not truck drivers or occupants of trucks. Attorney Eric Hageman, who leads Pritzker Hageman’s truck crash legal team, says that trucking companies should increase and upgrade safety measures. Not only do fatal accidents increase year over year due to more miles driven, but fatalities happen at a consistently faster rate.

When we talk about large truck accidents, we’re talking about crashes with immense consequences. Most of the victims are family members in passenger vehicles who suffer blunt force trauma from the tonnage and extreme force of a freight-hauling transport truck. With commercial trucks causing so much devastation, it’s unacceptable that more attention isn’t paid to making highways safer for families.

Truck Crash Lawyer Eric Hageman

Contact Eric today and find out how you can get compensation and justice

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Attorney Eric Hageman

Truck vs. Car Safety Imbalance

The main safety imbalance between large trucks and passenger cars is the vulnerability of people traveling in smaller vehicles. Trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars and are taller with greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller vehicles underriding trucks in crashes.

Truck braking capability can be a factor in truck crashes. Loaded tractor-trailers take 20-40 percent farther than cars to stop, and the discrepancy is greater on wet and slippery roads or with poorly maintained brakes. Even with fully functioning brakes, it can take the length of a football field for a semi to stop at highway speeds.

Truck driver fatigue also is a known crash risk. Drivers of large trucks are allowed by federal hours-of-service regulations to drive up to 11 hours at a stretch and up to 77 hours over a seven-day period. Surveys indicate that many drivers violate the regulations and work longer than permitted.

Drunk Drivers Cause Highest Number of Deadly Truck Crashes

In the NHTSA’s report, the agency detailed a rise in overall road deaths from 2015 to 2016. It was the second year in a row that the United States recorded traffic fatality increases with the first back-to-back rise since the mid-1960s. There was a slight increase in the total number of vehicle miles traveled, but NHTSA calculated that fatal crashes increased at a greater rate not just in raw numbers. The agency said the fatality rate per one million vehicle miles traveled increased by 2.6 percent.

A total of 37,461 people were killed in crashes on U.S. roadways in 2016, a number that increased from 35,485 in 2015. Fatalities increased in almost all segments of the population, including occupants of passenger vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. In fact, the NHTSA reported that drunk drivers of large trucks were involved in fatal crashes that had the largest increase year over year (51 percent).

Speeding and alcohol impairments increased as a factor in all traffic fatalities in 2016, with speeding up 4.5 percent as a cause of all fatal accidents. But distracted driving and drowsy driving were less of a factor in 2016’s overall fatal crash report than they were the year before.

Contact an Experienced Truck Crash Lawyer

The truck crash lawyers at the Pritzker Hageman law firm represent crash victims and their families in truck accident lawsuits nationwide. Our legal team has won hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients in some of the largest recoveries in U.S. history. For a free, no-obligation consultation with our truck crash legal team, please call 1-888-377-8900, text 612-261-0856, or fill out the form below.

We are not paid unless you win. Submitting this form does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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