Truck accident fatalities on the rise across the country

Large truck accidents across the nation are on the rise, which may be partially due to a nation-wide increase in freight.

Sharing the road with tractor trailers may be routine for many North Carolina motorists. What people may not know, however, is just how deadly these massive vehicles can be. Large trucks that are driven by drunk, drowsy, distracted or otherwise negligent truckers can spell disaster for innocent people on the road. Despite federal guidelines and laws enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a surprising number of truck accidents, injuries and deaths continue to occur on roadways across the country.

The facts

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, deaths caused by large truck accidents have increased across the country, from 3,211 deaths in 2009 to 3,906 fatalities in 2013. Although the truck accident death rate in North Carolina rose from 104 deaths in 2010 to 132 deaths in 2012, it dropped to 125 fatalities in 2013. Large truck accidents continue to be a cause for concern.

What causes truck accidents?

There are several factors that one must consider when determining why the number of truck accidents in the U.S. is climbing. As the American economy continues to improve, the trucking industry has experienced an influx of freight. As a result, some trucking companies are having trouble keeping up with this increased freight demand and have struggled to find enough qualified truck drivers to deliver goods across the country. A number of trucking companies and truckers are breaking federal regulations by spending more time behind the wheel in an attempt to meet strict deadlines and deliver more freight. These drowsy truckers are just one contributor to the influx of tractor trailer accidents.

Other factors that may play a role in big rig accidents include the following, as reported by State Farm:

• Snowy, icy, rainy, windy and foggy driving conditions can cause a truck to slide or jackknife.

• Freight that is loaded incorrectly can cause a truck to tip over.

• Poorly maintained trucks may have malfunctioning brakes, lights, tires, steering components or other essential safety devices.

• Speeding tractor trailers are not able to brake quickly, and may rear end vehicles in an area where traffic has slowed down.

Motorists should always drive cautiously around big rigs in order to minimize their risk of becoming involved in an accident.

Seeking justice

Needless to say, large truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries to the people who are involved. In some cases, people may suffer long-term disabilities, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage or paralysis because of a big rig accident. Injured victims of a tractor trailer collision may want to speak with an attorney in North Carolina in order to make sure all of their rights are being upheld.