Every day, countless different vehicles travel across U.S. roads. Whether traveling to see family, taking a vacation, or delivering products, these roads are always busy. While passenger vehicles are the most common vehicle on roads, you have likely seen a growing number of large trucks traveling across the country.
In the U.S., truck transport is responsible for delivering around 70% of all products. As this industry grows, the need for more trucks and drivers increases. As you can imagine, this often leads to some companies violating safety standards, putting drivers and other motorists at risk, just to improve efficiency and revenue.
Large truck accidents are a problem across the entire country, including here in Oklahoma. Oklahoma large truck accidents often cause immense damage and devastation because of the sheer size of these vehicles. Those involved in these accidents typically suffer significant injuries and, in many cases, lose their lives.
All drivers must drive with extreme care and caution, especially when sharing the road with a commercial truck. Even the most careful of drivers can find themselves in a large truck accident. If you or someone you love suffered significant injuries in an accident with a large truck, contact the Oklahoma car accident attorneys at AMA Law and let us fight for the justice you deserve.
Large Truck Accident Statistics
Millions of large trucks travel across U.S. roads every day. While trucking companies must ensure that their drivers have the appropriate licenses and training, accidents still occur. These trucks can weigh 20-30 times more than typical passenger vehicles, weighing in at upwards of 80,000 pounds. Not only are these trucks heavy, but some large tractor-trailers stretch up to 80 feet.
Naturally, when these trucks end up in an accident, the damage is immense. To give you a better understanding of the scope of these accidents, here are some telling statistics:
- According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 164,183 crashes with large trucks in 2019, involving 175,826 vehicles.
- The FMSCA also reports that there were 80,809 injuries, along with 4,790 fatalities.
- In Oklahoma, there were 3,286 crashes involving large trucks in 2019, which included 3,566 vehicles.
- In Oklahoma, there were 101 fatal crashes involving a large truck, which totaled 111 deaths.
- These accidents also resulted in 1,452 injuries.
- In 2017, occupants of other vehicles accounted for 72% of fatalities in these accidents, occupants of large trucks made up 18%, and nonoccupants (pedestrians, cyclists, etc.) accounted for 10%.
- Large trucks were involved in 9% of all fatal crashes in 2017.
- There are more than 5 million truck drivers in the U.S.
- In 2017, 30% of work zone fatal crashes involved a large truck.
The trucking industry is growing. That means there will be more and more commercial trucks on U.S. roads in the coming years.
Common Causes of Large Truck Accidents
As more trucks hit the roads, the number of large truck accidents will surely increase. While truck drivers are often at fault, other motorists can play a role in causing these accidents. While there are various laws and regulations to ensure drivers don’t drive for too long, many ignore these rules and drive tired.
Oklahoma large truck accidents can happen for a host of reasons, some of which include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving (texting, talking on the phone, eating, using a GPS, etc.)
- Lack of experience or training
- Failure to obey traffic lights, signs, and laws
- Mechanical failure due to poor vehicle maintenance
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Inclement weather
- Poor road conditions
- Cars following too closely
One or more of these factors can lead to a large truck accident. If you’re sharing the road with a large truck, you should practice extreme caution to protect yourself and everyone else on the road.
Common Injuries of Large Truck Accidents
As we mentioned earlier, the size of these vehicles all but guarantees that large truck accidents will lead to devastation. Not only will the property and vehicle damage be significant, but so too will the injuries.
Some of the most common injuries sustained in these accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts, bruises, and abrasions
- Internal organ injuries
- Amputation or loss of limb
If you are involved in a large truck accident, seek medical attention immediately. Even if you feel okay, some injuries take time to make themselves known, so it’s vital you receive medical treatment right away.
Steps to Take Following a Large Truck Accident
Nobody expects to be involved in a car accident with any vehicle. However, it pays off to be ready for these situations just in case. Far too often, someone else’s recklessness or negligence leads to an accident that causes significant injury, immense property damage, and much more. These individuals should be held accountable.
If you find yourself in one of these accidents:
- Call the Police: Police will arrive at the scene, collect statements, and complete an accident report, which you can use to strengthen your case.
- Seek Medical Attention: As we mentioned earlier, always seek medical attention after an accident. Many injuries aren’t apparent right away. If you do not get these injuries documented around the time of your accident, you might not be able to recover compensation for them.
- Collect Evidence: Take pictures of the scene, the vehicles involved, any injuries, and anything else that’s relevant. Collect eyewitness statements. Gather information from all involved parties, such as their name, license plate number, driver’s license number, insurance information, phone number, and other contact information.
- Contact Your Insurance: Reach out to your insurance provider to open a claim. Give them all the relevant information and evidence you have collected.
- Contact a Truck Accident Attorney: Truck accidents can get complicated. Not only must you deal with the driver but also the trucking company and their attorneys. You will need an experienced attorney to help you navigate these cases.
Who Can You Hold Accountable?
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you can hold one of several parties responsible, including:
- The truck driver
- The employer of the driver
- Those in charge of maintaining the vehicle
- The cargo loading company
- The vehicle manufacturer or parts maker
Many factors play a role in determining fault. Having the aid of a trusted and experienced car accident attorney will ensure that you find the at-fault party and bring them to justice.
Contact AMA Law
As the trucking industry continues to grow, the number of commercial trucks on U.S. roads will also increase. Unfortunately, that also means the danger of being in an accident with one of these vehicles rises. These accidents are devasting and are challenging to litigate. There are many factors that you must take into account.
However, AMA Law has years of experience helping clients recover damages for the injuries they sustained in Oklahoma large truck accidents. If you were involved in one of these accidents, contact our Oklahoma car accident law firm.