According to recently-released statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 110 large trucks that were involved in fatal trucking accidents in Tuscaloosa and elsewhere in Alabama in 2010.
For statistical purposes, a large truck is considered a truck whose gross vehicle weight is over 10,000 pounds. Throughout the nation, there were nearly 3,700 people who were killed in these kinds of big rig accidents that year. There were also another 80,000 people who were injured in trucking accidents. Reports indicate that there were close to 280,000 trucks involved in traffic accidents in 2010.
This is an issue of growing importance because the number of trucks on the nation’s roads is projected to grow substantially in coming years. And passenger vehicles are at an extreme disadvantage in the event of an accident with a large commercial vehicle.
Large trucks operate differently than our passenger vehicles. They are also larger, heavier and more powerful. This is why so many of the fatalities in these kinds of accidents occur to the passengers of other vehicles involved. In 2010, nearly 73 percent of the fatalities were of passenger vehicle occupants, about 2 percent were non-occupants and close to 25 percent were of the occupants of the large truck
Our Tuscaloosa trucking accident lawyers understand that our roadways are jam packed with trucks. Unfortunately, these trucks are involved in fatal accidents for a number of reasons, including driver inattention, drowsy driving and neglect on behalf of passenger car drivers. We all need to work with one another to help to preserve the safety on our roadways.
In 2010, large trucks accounted for about 4 percent of all registered vehicles nationwide. Although they accounted for a relatively small number of vehicles, they accounted for about 10 percent of the total vehicle miles traveled. They also accounted for about 5 percent of all of the vehicles that were involved in injury and property-damage accidents throughout the year.
Most of these accidents that involve trucks are multiple-vehicle accidents, too. More than 80 percent of trucking accidents involve more than one car in comparison to about 60 percent of passenger vehicle accidents. In 2010, large trucks were three times more likely than other vehicles to be struck in the rear in two-vehicle fatal accidents.
For these reasons, we’re asking drivers to be on their best behavior. When passing a large truck be sure to do so responsibly. You never want to linger on the side of or near a large truck. Also, trucks have a tougher time stopping and accelerating than passenger vehicles do. Stay smart and stay safe.
Alabama Truck Accidents Have Variety of Causes, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, March 6, 2012
FMCSA Passes Final Rule to Help Reduce Risk of Trucking Accidents in Alabama, Nation, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, January 24, 2012