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Truck Accidents: Uncommon But Catastrophic

It should come as no surprise that an accident involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle can result in catastrophic injuries and a complete destruction of the car.

However, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (a 501c3 organization), statistically there is a smaller chance of trucks being involved in fatal crashes on a per-miles-traveled basis than for passenger vehicles. Why? Truck drivers are professionals who are trained in safety, with their livelihoods dependent on maintaining a safe driving record. For example, alcohol is cited as a factor in only two percent of fatally injured truck drivers, while a full 33 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers were legally drunk.

However, while those statistics are heartening, it doesn’t change the physics of a truck-car crash when it does happen — a 10,000-pound trailer hitting a 2,000 pound car at even moderate speeds can be devastating. Factors at play include:

  • Truck braking distances are longer — and even more so on wet and slippery roads.
  • A full 55 percent of trucks in one post-accident study were found to have a mechanical violation, including brake and steering defects.
  • As of July 1, 2013, federal rules on hours-of-service that truck drivers can work allow driving up to 11 hours per day or 70 hours over an eight-day period. “Overnight” rest periods might be just 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. twice a week.

Victims of truck accidents and their survivors are strongly encouraged to engage legal counsel as soon as possible after the accident. Many truckers are independently employed but still carry required insurance. Larger employers are insured as well. Those insurance companies look to limit damage awards and have legal teams engaged full-time to fight against lawsuits directed at them.

Help from a skilled attorney enables victims to win an appropriate financial settlement to cover losses from truck accidents. Contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident.

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Law Office of Michael & Michelle Mandel
1438 Market Street
San Francisco, California, 94102 USA
415.626.5400