In 2005, there were 8,481,999 large trucks on the roads, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 136,568,000 passenger cars and 6,227,000 motorcycles simultaneously occupied the highways (Bureau of Transportation Statistics).
Finding room for tractor trailers and passenger vehicles to share the road is difficult and often dangerous. In 2005, there were 4,533 fatal crashes involving large trucks, not to mention 78,000 nonfatal crashes. Although all vehicles on the road must obey the same rules, truck drivers face several significant disadvantages: wider turn radiuses, larger blind spots and slower acceleration times. Truck drivers also face problems with fatigue, grueling delivery schedules, overloaded shipments, the potential for a heavy load to become unbalanced, and other drivers’ impatience with tractor trailers on highways.
Trucks Cause Significant Accidents and Serious Injuries to Other Drivers
Because of a tractor trailer’s size and weight, the potential for causing damage to everyone involved in a truck accident—especially those in a much-smaller car—is great. Personal injuries from a truck accident can be relatively common (bruising, lacerations, sprains, or fractures) or very severe (internal bleeding, damage to organs, whiplash, brain injury, spinal cord injury, loss of limb, or death). These injuries can certainly cause some long-lasting mental and physical trauma. Just as importantly, however, they can affect your relationships with your family and friends, especially as you face the added burden of financial concerns, insurance claims, lost pay, and potentially life-long medical problems.
Although most accidents are caused by the commercial driver, a significant number of these accidents occur because driving a truck makes it difficult to fully see the surroundings and because many passenger vehicle drivers fail to respect the truck’s right to drive on the roads. Remember being courteous is a two-way street. Tractor trailer drivers recommend that when cars have to share the road with big trucks, the car drivers follow a few simple rules: don’t cut off the tractor trailer, since big trucks require a lot more room than cars to stop; be courteous and don’t try to race past a truck with its blinkers on; don’t drive alongside the truck, especially if you run the risk of disappearing in the truck driver’s blind spot.
Truck Accidents Are Expensive. Your Insurance Probably Won’t Be Enough
According to a report issued by the Pacific Institute in December 2006, “Unit Costs of Medium and Heavy Truck Crashes,” the estimated cost of a crash with a tractor trailer weighing more than 10,000 pounds averaged $91,112; costs (assessed for the duration of the victim’s life) including medical bills, emergency service costs, property damage costs, and a monetary assessment of pain, suffering, and quality of life for the family due to a death or injury. Chances are very good that your insurance company will fall short of helping you recover everything owed to you because insurance companies don’t represent you and when they are talking to you they are thinking of how to get out of paying you or how to pay you what you deserve to be paid.
That’s why it’s important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a crash or wreck. If you are injured in an accident involving a tractor trailer along the highways of central Iowa, Steve Lombardi of the Lombardi Law Firm in Des Moines can help you handle these troubling times. With 26 years of experience behind him, he is well-equipped to navigate the court system and fight the insurance companies that want to pay as little as possible on your claim. With Steve Lombardi on your side, you will be well cared for and will recoup as much of your losses as possible.
Have you been injured in truck accident? Contact us online or call us directly at 515.222.1110 your free, no obligation consultation.