When a motor vehicle accident involves a large commercial truck or semitrailer, it often results in significant damage. Truck accidents are more likely to result in injuries as well, due to the size and weight of these types of vehicles. Unfortunately, the number of this type of accident is on the rise across the country.
There are safety regulations and industry standards in place in order to ensure safe operation of trucks and keep all motorists safe. Despites these measures, the overall number of truck accidents has been increasing, and you may be wondering why. Over the last decades, there has been a troubling trend of more and more people dying or suffering severe injuries in various types of semitrailer-involved accidents, including in Michigan.
What's behind the numbers?
According to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of truck accidents increased around 42% in just eight years, from 2009 to 2017. Many of these accidents involved neighboring vehicles, meaning other cars and trucks near the semitrailers at the time of the accident. In this same time period, regulators had better systems and more technology available by which they could inspect trucks and monitor driver behavior.
This is what may concern you about the rising number of truck accidents -- why are there so many incidents when there are stricter regulations and more monitoring than ever before? As many are quick to point out, human error continues to be one of the leading causes of these accidents. Both truckers and other motorists are susceptible to distracted driving, speeding and other negligent behaviors, which increases the chance of an accident.
There are several factors to consider when trying to pinpoint a possible explanation for the number of truck accidents. It is helpful to consider that trucks are extremely heavy, even when unloaded, and it is not always easy to stop these vehicles. Trucks often travel across state lines, and each state may have different levels of enforcement and monitoring.
You understand the statistics are troubling, but what can you do to protect yourself? When sharing the road with a large truck, it is smart to be cautious and vigilant. If you were in an accident with a semitrailer, you don't have to try and pick up the pieces alone. Victims of negligent trucking practices and dangerous behaviors have legal options by which they can hold liable parties accountable.