Trucking is one of the deadliest occupations. Although fatal auto accidents have decreased due to improvements in highway safety, these statistics are likely to rebound as more trucks take to the roads in New York and across the country. Today, trucks claim more than 80 percent market share in the commercial transportation industry, which includes air, sea and rail transport methods. All of this business earns trucking companies over $650 billion each year and earnings are projected to grow 20 percent in the next decade.
For drivers, this surge means that more trucks will be on the road, which increases the likelihood of truck and auto accidents. Recently, the North American Free Trade Agreement opened roads to trucks from Canada and Mexico. After these truckers pass the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration inspection, they will be able to drive in the United States. New York’s proximity to Canada means that many motorists will be driving alongside foreign truckers who can be especially hard to sue if they’ve caused injuries or fatalities. If this is the case, you’ll need to find a law firm capable of handling a NAFTA trucking case. You must also consider that new truckers are replacing an aging workforce, putting less experienced drivers on the road. All of these factors increase the relative risk of fatal truck accidents.
The Facts Don’t Lie
Nationally, tractor-trailers are involved in approximately 12 percent of all fatal accidents on the road. With 3 million 18-wheelers registered in the United States, crashes involving cars and trucks are extremely likely to occur. Statistically, trucks are 20 to 50 percent more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than passenger vehicles and because of the size of these trucks, any accidents are much more likely to be deadly.
Annually, more than 4,300 fatal driving accidents involve big trucks. This averages out to 2.4 fatal accidents for every 100 million miles driven. However, the number of non-fatal, but dangerous, accidents is significantly higher.
At highway speeds, it takes trucks a long time to stop. In these conditions, rollovers and jackknife crashes are imminent. Heavy loads are more likely to shift, which increases the probability of a rollover, while lighter loads are more susceptible to jackknife crashes. However, fatal truck accidents don’t only happen on New York’s highways and interstates. 50 percent of all fatal truck accidents occur on secondary, two-lane roads. Poor vehicle maintenance and inclement weather are common causes of these accidents.
Stay Safe and Take Action
Trucks that transport everything from produce to furniture can change your life in an instant. If you’ve been injured by a big truck in New York, you need an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in such accidents. Call the experts at Brown Chiari to request a free case evaluation today.