A number of deaths that result from truck accidents are accounted for by occupants of passenger vehicles. Of vehicle occupants killed in two-vehicle accidents during 2013 that involved a passenger vehicle and large truck, 97 percent were occupants of passenger vehicles. During 2013, 73 percent of deaths in large truck accidents were in truck accidents that involved tractor trailers. Overall during 2013, 3,602 victims died in large truck accidents. Sixteen percent of fatal truck accident victims during 2013 were occupants of other passenger vehicles. The number of truck accident fatalities in 2013 was a 14 percent increase from 2009.
The size disparity between trucks and passenger vehicles is significant. Trucks oftentimes outweigh passenger vehicles by 20 to 30 times. There are a number of factors that can create the risk of a truck accident, including defective parts and equipment or truck driver fatigue. It is important to note that hours-of-service regulations only permit truck drivers to drive up to 11 hours in a single stretch and limit the number of driving hours in a 7-day period to 77 hours. Surveys indicate hours-of-service regulations are often violated.
Truck accidents can result in serious injuries and fatalities that can impact victims and their families forever. Because of the serious nature of truck accidents, when a victim has been injured in a truck accident by a negligent truck driver there are a number of options available to them. Negligent truck drivers, such as truck drivers suffering from truck driver fatigue, and trucking companies in some instances, may be liable to compensate victims for damages they have suffered in a truck accident including damages for physical, emotional and financial harms.
The liability of truck drivers and trucking companies depends on the unique circumstances of the situation each victim is in. In common, however, truck accident victims can rest assured that the legal system seeks to protect, help and compensate victims who have suffered harm and damages in truck accidents.