There are approximately 4,500 victims killed each year in commercial trucking accidents. Many of those crashes occur right here in Utah. Thousands more are left seriously injured. Because of the catastrophic nature of truck accident injuries, many victims who do survive are left with long-term or permanent injuries. Tragically, these numbers continue to rise each year.
Some of the more common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driving while under the influence: Many commercial drivers are operating while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. In one major study, a large portion of truck drivers who participated admitted to using some sort of substance, including alcohol, amphetamines, and cocaine, while they are behind the wheel. Driving while intoxicated can affect a driver’s ability to react, the ability to make decisions, and affect their vision, all perilous situations.
- Speeding: A large commercial truck is often difficult to maneuver. These huge vehicles also require more time to slow down and stop than passenger vehicles do. Truck driver speeding is a factor in almost 20 percent of all fatal truck accidents each year.
- Distracted driving: It is not just an unprecedented number of passenger vehicle drivers who still engage in distracted driving behaviors despite knowing the dangers. Far too many truck drivers are guilty of the same offense. Almost 10 percent of fatal truck accidents each year are the result of the truck driver using their cell phone, texting, fiddling with the radio, checking their electronic logging device, or some other activity that causes them to take their eyes and attention off the road in front of them.
In the majority of truck accidents, it is the occupants in the other vehicle – and not the truck driver – who is injured or killed. In fact, in one year, of all the victims killed in truck accidents, only about 15 percent of them are the person driving the truck. Any victim of a truck accident – or their family if the victim does not survive – has the legal right to pursue damages with a personal injury attorney for the losses they have suffered against the party or parties responsible for the truck crash.
Truck drivers have a legal responsibility to operate their vehicles safely and follow all rules and regulations of the road, as well as state and federal mandates from agencies that oversee carrier vehicles. Anyone who drivers a commercial truck must be thoroughly trained in operating these massive vehicles and are required to pass a test to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to legally drive a truck.
Unfortunately, there are too many truck drivers on the road who fail to abide by these rules and regulations, putting not only themselves at risk, but everyone with who they share the nation’s roads with.