What happens when you find out that your family member has been injured and hospitalized due to a truck accident?
You panic and you don’t know who to turn to. The first and foremost thought in your head is – Are they safe? How badly were they injured? How did this happen? Why did it happen to your loved one? And lastly, who will help you get the justice you deserve?
18-wheelers aren’t a new thing to happen to the USA. Trucks are vital to the country’s economy & play an irreplaceable role in the last mile delivery in the supply chain. When we look at a truck, we see a huge intimidating vehicle which is the cause of 621 crashes in Texas involving large trucks in 2017 (the highest in the country).
The Most Recent Case of a Negligent Truck Driver’s Hit-And-Run in Garland, Texas
Yesterday, on 12 March 2020, a woman who was walking south towards Shiloh Road from the Arapaho Road crosswalk in Garland, Texas suffered a serious injury when a truck crashed into her at around 6.30 am.
The truck was going north towards Shiloh Road and hit her causing her to fall down, while the driver did not stop.
This is a case of negligence and improper passing on the truck driver’s part because he ignored the “walk” sign shown by the woman. The 80,000 pound truck crashed into her, leaving her injured.
This accident was reported by the Dallas Morning News in today’s newspaper.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
What are the causes of such horrifying accidents involving large trucks in the USA?
Studies find that the most common causes include negligent driving on the part of either the truck drivers or the drivers of other vehicles near any 18-wheeler. Below is a list of the causes –
- Improper Passing or Turn
- Distracted Driving
- Reckless Driving
- Erratic Lane Change
- Driving Under the Influence
- Failure to ObeyTraffic Signals
- Failure to Notice Other Vehicles’ Signals
- Lack of Proper Training to Drive an 18-wheeler
- Time Limits due to Schedules of Trucking Companies which make the driver hurry to reach the destination.
What Do the Truck Accident Statistics Say?
The below given data was obtained from the FHWA report for truck accidents by year from 2013 through 2016.
Registered Vehicles in the United States, 2013-2016
Data Source: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Highway Statistics 2016, Table VM-1.
What are the types of truck accident crashes?
Below are the NHTSA Crash Severity Levels: which include fatal, injury, and property-damage-only (PDO) crashes.
Source: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov /Api/Public/ViewPublication/ 812663
- Fatal crashes – In which a person involved in a motor crash died within 30 days of the accident. This involves other non-motorists too.
- Injury crashes – In which no one died in the accident but, at least one person was injured in one of the following ways: (1) an incapacitating injury; (2) a visible but not incapacitating injury; (3) a possible, not visible injury; or (4) an injury of unknown severity.
- PDO crashes – The motor vehicles crashed on a trafficway, but no one suffered any injuries.
For more information on crash severity levels, refer to NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) Data Resource Web site at: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov
What Can You Do to be a Responsible Driver?
The truck drivers can’t be blamed everytime a truck is involved in an accident. It is the responsibility of other car drivers as well to obey all traffic laws and prevent causing an accident. Below are some things you can take care of –
- Don’t drive between two large trucks.
- Don’t try to overtake a large truck, be patient.
- Don’t merge into traffic suddenly, this will cause the truck behind you to come to a halt or swerve.
- Don’t drive too close to the truck in the “No-Zone”. The truck driver can’t see a small vehicle if it is not visible in the side mirror of the large truck.
- Don’t speed up when the truck in front of you is changing lanes or merging into traffic.
- Don’t use any handheld devices while driving or listen to loud music. Your reaction time will be slower.
- Never drink and drive and always use a seatbelt.
- Be patient and never indulge in road rage while driving.
- Always provide the appropriate indicators while turning or stopping on the road.
For more information and resources on Driver safety, visit the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) website.
What should you do to document the accident?
Here’s a list of what to do immediately after you or anyone you know has been in an accident –
- If you were the one injured in the crash, call 911 immediately to get medical assistance.
- If you are the one who caused the crash, don’t run from the scene. You can be charged with a hit-and-run if you do. Call 911 and help the victims in any way you can.
- Note down any information which could be used as evidence. This includes – time and day of the accident, how many people were involved, weather conditions, license plates, and the insurance information of all the people involved.
- Move your car to the side of the road if you can and be away from oncoming traffic.
- Name and contact number of any witnesses to the accident.
- Film a video of the wreck and accident location to document injuries, damages, and evidence.
Who should you call for help with how to proceed?
You should call your immediate family and ask for their help if you need hospitalization. Most of the accident victims are eligible for compensation if you’re a victim of a truck accident due to negligent driving.
Always get legal assistance from an experienced truck accident attorney. They will help you iron out the details to be eligible for personal injury compensation and may also help you manage the medical bills, out-of-pocket costs, and wages lost during recovery.