18-Wheeler Accidents, Causes and Recourse

| Jun 23, 2020 | Personal Injury

In recent weeks there have been multiple large truck accidents in the greater Houston area, causing severe injury and fatalities. This is a small portion of the hundreds of accidents that occur yearly. While trucking is a significant and essential industry, large trucks present dangerous and unique accidents that are often fatal. These are caused by the sheer mass of big rigs weighing from 10 to 80 thousand pounds, given their weight and cargo.

Causation of most trucking accidents

Large trucks weighing as much as 80,000 pounds require much more time allowance for acceleration and deceleration than ordinary vehicles, they also have more blind spots even when they use mirrors. The difficulty it takes to operate such a large rig, especially with the vast distances these trucks cover, requires expertise. Without such expertise, accidents may occur, resulting in severe economic damage, injuries and death.

The causation of trucking accidents usually falls into three categories: human error, mechanical failure, and external conditions. Human error is the leading cause. Furthermore, there may be multiple causes and factors that lead to a large truck accident such as negligence, overloaded freight, poor truck maintenance, insufficient training, fatigue and distracted driving. This list is not exhaustive, and each case proves to be different.

Recourse for victims of trucking accidents

Getting into an accident with an 18-wheeler can be life-altering and can cause serious damage, injuries, and death. After an accident, victims might be entitled to compensation and should seek legal assistance. Compensation can make up for the loss of wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and more.

Truck accident statistics in the United States

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018, there were 4,951 people killed, and an estimated 151,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks. Texas reported the highest number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes at 658, and the largest number of total vehicles involved in deadly crashes.