When a trucker is behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer weighing 10,000 pounds or more, safety demands that the driver stay alert and drive within the speed limits. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In reality, thousands of semi-truck accidents result from driver inattention, fatigue, and speeding.
Trucks vs. Cars: Truck Accident Attorney Rhode Island
Commercial trucks are substantially larger and heavier than passenger vehicles. The disparity in size means that truck accidents are often fatal or cause serious injury to those in passenger cars who are involved in collisions with them.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for example, reports that 3,757 people died in large truck accidents in the U.S. in 2011. Truck occupants accounted for just 635 of those deaths, while 2,695 occupants of other vehicles and 427 non-occupants died.
Nationally, this means large trucks were involved in 8.2 percent of the country’s total fatal crashes. In Rhode Island during this same time period, large trucks were involved in 1.2 percent of all fatal wrecks on state roads.
Truck Drivers are Usually the Cause of a Trucking Accident in Rhode Island
Drivers of large trucks and other vehicles involved in a truck accident are 10 times more likely to be the cause of the crash than other factors, such as weather or road conditions, according to a three-year study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
According to the federal study, these are the top 10 factors, in descending order, that were present at the time of truck crashes in the study.
Top Truck Accident Factors in RI
- Brake problems
- Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
- Prescription drug use
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Unfamiliarity with roadway
- Roadway problems
- Required to stop before the crash (traffic control device, crosswalk)
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Inadequate surveillance
The study also found that some crashes stemmed from the failure to properly maintain trucks, especially the brakes, resulting in catastrophic rear-end collisions.
In some instances drivers reported being pressured to meet deadlines. That may have led to unsafe driving practices, such as speeding, which put other motorists at risk.
Contact a Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney
If you are injured in an accident with a commercial truck, you should consult an attorney who has extensive experience arguing trucking negligence claims. These truck accident cases can be complex and require thorough investigation.
Trucking companies are only required to keep their records for a short period of time. Trucking company representatives may approach accident victims while they are still in shock or confused about their options – and obtain statements that can later be used as a defense to legal claims.
RI Truck Accident Attorneys at Gemma Law Associates
The truck accident attorneys at Gemma Law Associates, Inc., have worked on many trucking negligence cases, and we are familiar with the tactics used by trucking companies and their insurance carriers to avoid paying damages.
We know how to investigate these cases properly to ensure no evidence is lost, and we believe that trucking companies should be held accountable when their negligent practices cause pain and suffering or wrongful death.
If you’ve suffered a serious personal injury due to trucking negligence, contact Gemma Law Associates, Inc., toll-free, or submit an online contact form. We’ve been helping clients in Rhode Island for more than 45 years – and we can help you.