Tractor trailer accidents lead to thousands of deaths and serious injuries
Tractor trailers, also known as semi-trucks, are large trucks that are hooked up to full-sized trailers or semi-trailers. These vehicles are inherently dangerous and capable of inflicting serious carnage due to their immense size and weight. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 73% of all fatalities in large truck crashes involved tractor trailers and resulted in 2,619 deaths. Typically, a majority of fatalities from tractor trailer crashes come from passenger vehicle occupants simply because smaller vehicles are unable to withstand a collision with such a large truck.
To protect against large truck injuries and deaths, drivers of commercial vehicles such as tractor trailers are subject to additional rules and regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for ensuring that all trucking companies, bus companies and large commercial vehicle companies comply with all regulations. These additional regulations include:
- Hours of driving limits
- Truck size and weight restrictions
- Hazardous materials guidelines
- Limited access to certain roadways
Drivers of tractor trailers are required to obtain additional training and pass additional driving tests before they are eligible to receive a commercial driver’s license. Failing to adhere to federal trucking regulations puts tractor trailer drivers as well as other vehicle occupants, pedestrians and bicyclists in danger. Tractor trailers are subject to periodic inspections and must be maintained and repaired properly to prevent safety hazards.
By their very nature, tractor trailers are difficult to stop quickly and require additional time stopping under even the best circumstances. Situations involving bad weather and reduced visibility or malfunctioning mechanical parts invariably lead to a higher rate of crashes. In addition, tractor trailer accidents have a high rate of rollovers which often leads to a high risk of significant injuries and death for all parties involved.
It is important for all drivers to remain vigilant and obey all traffic guidelines to mitigate potential disasters. Tractor trailer accidents are often avoidable and are directly caused by someone’s negligence. If you have been injured in a tractor trailer accident, call 732-482-9285 or send an email to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options.