Common Injuries Sustained in Large Truck Accidents
Across America, big trucks travel along this country’s highways, rural and urban roads. A vital part of the U.S. economy, it is estimated that trucks move about 71.4% of the nation’s freight by weight. According to the American Trucking Associations, in 2017, registered trucks traveled 297.6 billion miles!
With so many hours on the road, accidents, where deaths and injuries occur, are inevitable. In 2018, it was reported that 4,862 large trucks were involved in a fatal crash; this was a 1% increase over the previous year.
Also, in 2018, 112,000 big trucks were involved in an accident where someone was injured; this was a 5% increase from 2017. Although there are many factors that contribute to these crashes, many times, driver error is to blame. Truck drivers often are under pressure from their employers, can spend up to eleven hours a day on the road, and have to contend with many blind spots when driving.
Although the benefits these trucks provide to our economy is essential, these statistics underscore the potential public hazard trucks often present, especially in Texas – a state with some of the most dangerous roads. Below we will explore some of the contributing factors to these accidents, common injuries, and how you can get help if you are the victim of a truck crash.
Factors That Contribute to Accidents
There are several factors that contribute to trucking accidents. Most of these crashes fall under one or a combination of three categories: vehicle issues/maintenance, driver-related, and environmental conditions.
- Vehicle Issues/Maintenance – A commercial vehicle’s brake system includes several parts that all must work together for the brakes to function properly. Inadequate braking on large trucks is a serious problem. Brake related violations comprise the most significant percentage of out-of-service violations. When employers fail to maintain, inspect, and repair a vehicle’s brake system, the result is faulty brakes that contribute to serious accidents. A report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), ‘Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts,’ vehicle-related causes for fatal crashes in 2017 attributed brake systems as the third most frequent vehicle-related issue, after other vehicles and tires.
- Driver-related – Of the many factors that are attributed to the driver regarding accident causation, here are the top five related to fatal crashes occurring from 2015 – 2017: speeding, distracted driving, failure to yield, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and careless driving.
- Environmental Conditions – Sometimes, roads are designed poorly, which contributes to accidents. Other times inclement weather such as rain or ice adversely affects road conditions leading to crashes.
Driving Dangerously in Texas
When it comes to driving in Texas, the state has several deadly highways. One study concluded that ’10 percent of the fatal car accidents that happened in the U.S. in 2015 happened in Texas—and 62 percent of those occurred on the state’s highways and interstates.’
Value Penguin compiled a list of the top fifty most dangerous highways in the nation. Texas claimed eleven spots on the list with one in the top five – Interstate 10. Their research found that the highest amount of fatal crashes occurred on the stretch of I-10 that runs through Harris County. And overall, from 2010 to 2016, 585 fatal accidents happened on Interstate 10.
Also, the increase in shipping goods has to lead to an increase in accidents like a FedEx truck accident.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
If you live in Texas, you need to be extremely vigilant while driving because, as the statistics above reveal, conditions in the state are particularly hazardous. When a truck ends up causing an accident, fatalities are only part of the outcome. Many persons also suffer severe injuries in truck crashes, and often they are the occupants of the other vehicle involved. Below are some of the common injuries that victims of truck accidents experience.
- Back and Neck Injuries – A passenger vehicle is no match for a semi-truck since the average truck weighs about 40 tons, and a car weighs less than two tons. When an accident occurs between these two types of vehicles, the force that impacts a car can have a tremendous effect on the occupants. A crash can cause whiplash, severe pain, and even paralysis.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – When a car is struck by a large truck, one of the most severe injuries that can be sustained by the driver and passengers are spinal cord injuries. Often the victims will be in extreme pain, need surgery, or may suffer permanent damage such as paralysis. Those who escape permanent injury may still require extensive physical therapy to return to normal functioning.
- Head and Brain Injuries – Two other types of serious injuries that persons involved in truck accidents often experience are head and brain trauma. These injuries can be dramatically life-changing resulting in permanent disability, including blindness, disfigurement, and hearing loss.
- Rib Injuries – Broken bones are also another frequent outcome of truck accidents. Broken ribs can be especially dangerous as they can puncture the lungs or other vital organs.
- Internal Trauma – Sometimes, the equipment in a passenger vehicle that is designed to protect occupants in an accident can contribute to injury. During a crash, when airbags are deployed, they can lead to blunt abdominal trauma. Also, seatbelts, which can save a person from being ejected from the car in an accident, can cause chest pain, and severe injuries to organs such as the liver, bladder, spleen, and kidneys.
Contact a Knowledgeable Truck Accident Attorney
If you or someone you know was the victim of a truck accident, you need an experienced truck accident lawyer in Texas. An attorney who is familiar with large truck accidents will be able to conduct a thorough investigation that involves gathering pertinent documents, interviewing witnesses, and viewing surveillance footage.
A qualified attorney will also be able to negotiate with insurance and trucking companies and skillfully represent you in court if necessary.
Call (281) 893-0760 for a FREE truck wreck injury consultation!