According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, collisions involving tractor-trailers are responsible for one out of every nine accident fatalities. In addition to this, drivers frequently sustain other severe injuries that are prevalent in accidents involving tractor-trailers. These can include injuries to the spinal cord that result in paraplegia or quadriplegia, the loss of one or more extremities, spinal cord injuries, serious bone breaks or fractures, and traumatic brain injuries. One of the more common causes for these types of accidents is simple driver error, which means that most of these deaths and injuries are largely preventable.
Truck Accident Fatalities and Injuries
Every year the United States sees approximately 4,229 fatalities that are the result of tractor-trailer accidents. In that same year, there will be roughly 70,000 injuries resulting from that same type of accident, many of which will be catastrophic and permanently life-altering. Out of those 4,229 deaths, about 115 occurred in the state of Oklahoma, which also claims 1,300 of those truck accident related injuries. Over 800 of these accidents resulted in cars having to be towed away from the accident scene because they were no longer driveable. Studies done on truck accidents have shown that they are more likely to occur in rural areas than they are in urban areas. Rural areas accounted for 68% of trucking accidents while urban areas only saw 32% of the total damage. 78% of all tractor-trailer involved accidents occur on the weekends.
In trucking accidents where the truck driver was found to be at fault, driver fatigue was the number one reason for the accident. Recent studies have shown that over 30% of all tractor-trailer at-fault accidents are due to the driver not being properly rested while operating their vehicle. This driver fatigue is not uncommon among truckers, who are often made to ignore safety laws in order to deliver their cargo in the fastest time possible, which increases their profits, albeit at the expense of the safety of their employees and of the public in general.
Common Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents
Tractor-trailer accidents can occur for any number of reasons, but according to research some of the more common causes are:
- Poorly trained truck drivers
- Driver fatigue
- Unqualified truck drivers
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Brake or other mechanical failures
- Improperly secured cargo
- Carrying too much cargo (overloaded)
- Failing to drive slower in inclement weather
- Distracted driving
- Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
- Failure to slow down when driving in construction zones
- Improper merging into the main flow of traffic
If you or someone that you love has been injured in a traffic accident with a tractor-trailer and you have reason to suspect that the driver was falling asleep at the wheel, then please reach out to us here at the McGuire Law Firm in Oklahoma. We have the necessary years of experience and legal savvy to get you any compensation that you may be entitled to as a result of your accident. Remember, these truckers have companies backing them and those companies have teams of lawyers and insurance agents. You do not have to go through this ordeal alone. If you would like a free consultation regarding your personal injury claim, then please give us a call at (405) 513-5658 as soon as you possibly can so we can tell you what we are able to do for you.