Accidents involving commercial or “big rig” trucks are on the rise, largely due to the tires installed on big rig trucks. Most tires on big rig trucks are not designed to function properly at speeds over 75 miles per hour and no tire has been rated in excess of 81 miles per hour. Yet, due to time pressures and other aspects of their jobs, drivers may exceed the recommended speeds, leading to serious accidents.
Truck accident statistics
Between 2009 and 2013, heavy trucks and buses were responsible for 14,000 fatal accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Tires were a factor in close to 200 of those crashes. Lack of tire maintenance is also a factor in the rise in big rig accidents, according to the federal government. The American Trucking Association says it has been warning states and the federal government for years about the dangers of excess speeds and has asked for electronic limiters to cap a truck’s top speed at 65 miles per hour. Nearly 70% of trucking companies use limiters, but the 30% who are unregulated are causing concern within the industry. The federal government is working to change the labeling on tires and to require special limiters.
Truck accidents on Southern California’s multi-lane highways are incredibly dangerous, causing injury and even death to drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles. These types of accidents result in traumatic brain injury; spinal cord injury; disfigurement; and crushed bones.
If you are injured in an accident involving a big rig truck, consulting with an experienced auto accident attorney is a smart choice. Your attorney will advise you on which company or person to sue. For example, many truck drivers are independent contractors of the trucking companies they drive for. You can sue the driver, but suing the company may prove challenging. Your personal injury attorney may also suggest suing additional defendants whose negligence might have caused your injuries. For example, if the big rig truck that crashed into you was carrying a harmful chemical, and now you have medical issues from inhaling that chemical at the accident scene, you may be able to sue the shipper of that chemical. Your attorney will advise you on the strength of your claims.
The right attorney will help you seek maximum damages. For more information on how to recover financial compensation after being injured in a truck accident in or near the San Fernando Valley, contact proven accident attorney Barry P. Goldberg today for a free consultation about your case.