According to statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,921 people lost their lives in 2012 in crashes involving commercial trucks nationwide, including in Pennsylvania. Another 104,000 people were injured in truck accidents. For other road users, these numbers are alarming, and motorists may feel threatened when they have to share the roadways with big rigs.
Road transport forms a significant part of the national economy, and truckers are burdened with enormous responsibilities. Although they are expected to do timely deliveries, they are also expected to be professional and cautious. While drivers of passenger vehicles must understand that if they cannot see a large truck’s side view mirror, they are in the driver’s blind spot and in danger, there are certain steps big rig drivers can take to avoid accidents.
Three areas to which truckers must pay additional attention are the weather, fatigue and distractions. By staying informed of expected weather patterns, drivers of large trucks may avoid dangerous conditions. Regardless of the advanced technology of big rigs, fatigue and drowsy driving can cause devastating accidents. Lastly, with the long distances and extended hours these drivers have to cope with, it is not uncommon for them to become distracted, often leading to rear-end crashes with devastating consequences.
Whenever passenger vehicles are involved in truck accidents, the injuries are likely to be severe. In many cases, Pennsylvania families lose loved ones who had suffered fatal injuries in such accidents. Recovery of economic losses and emotional damages brought about by these crashes may be sought by filing wrongful death or personal injury claims in a civil court. If it can be proved that a truck driver’s negligence caused or contributed to the injuries or death of a loved one, the court will consider all documented claims before awarding a monetary judgment.
Source: The Huffington Post, “3 Highway Safety Measures Every Truck Driver Should Consider“, William Morrow, Accessed on Aug. 30, 2016