Trucking and Transportation Accidents
Trucking Accident Statistics and Information
- In 2009, over 33,000 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S.
- Approximately 30% of oil field deaths are caused by trucking accidents.
- 64% of fatal crashes involving large trucks occur on rural roads during daylight hours. USDOT
- Another 26% occur on rural or urban Interstate highways.
- Over 80% of accidents occur on dry roads or in normal weather conditions.
- Trucking and transportation accidents can happen while on the job in the oil fields or when traveling to or from work, and can occur many different ways.
- The accident itself can involve a head on collision, rear end collision, jackknifing, loss of control on icy roads, or being struck by unsecured loads or cargo.
Who Is Responsible?
Trucking accidents can result from many different causes. Depending on the cause of the accident, either the driver or the trucking company could be responsible for the crash.
Companies are responsible for accidents caused by overworking or failing to train their drivers or failing to keep up the maintenance on their trucks. One of the most common causes of accidents is truck driver fatigue, which can be a result of shifts that are too long or not giving a driver enough time to rest between shifts. Companies are also responsible for making sure their drivers are properly trained to operate the vehicle they’re assigned to and have the right qualifications. Companies can be held legally responsible if an inexperienced driver gets behind the wheel and gets into an accident. Finally, it is a company’s responsibility to ensure that vehicles are properly maintained, and those companies are responsible for trucking equipment failures, including failed brakes or inadequate reflectors.
Individual drivers are more likely to be responsible for crashes caused by distracted driving, including driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, cell phone use, or texting while driving.
What Happens if I am in an Accident?
If you or a family member has recently experienced a traffic accident, you likely have questions about what your next steps should be. We recommend that you call an attorney and tell him or her about the accident. That person can then tell you what your next steps should be. During that talk, it is helpful to have the following information ready:
- Location of the accident
- Date and time the accident occurred.
- Road conditions at the time of the accident.
- Whether the truck broke down or there was some other equipment failure.
- How you were injured.
- A copy of the police report or name of the investigating officer.
- The current location of all vehicles involved in the accident.