18 Wheeler Accident Injuries and Fatalities On the Rise
Semi-truck crashes kill some 4,000 people and injure more than 100,000 on U.S. roadways every year, stunning figures that have been surging since 2009, according to a 2014 CNBC report that cited statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The combination of some two million 18-wheelers on American roadways and the mounting pressure on U.S. truck drivers to deliver their loads on time, particularly as the economy is increasingly reliant on ground-shipping and transport—driven in large part by the popularity of online shopping and consumers’ desire for quick delivery—has seen truck driver fatalities increase by more than 11 percent over the past five years, according to data on the trucking industry website Trucks.com.
Lawsuits arising out of 18-wheeler accidents have become routine.
A woman who suffered grave injuries in a 2015 18-wheeler accident in Texas was awarded $1.6 million from the trucking company for the actions of its driver, the Palestine (TX) Herald-Press reported in 2o17.
Having just earned her master’s degree from the University of Texas, Katherine S. was en route to her new job when a semi-truck driver ran a red light and turned left in front of Katherine’s Hyundai, according to the newspaper.
The 18-wheeler accident crushed Scott’s car and it took emergency crews 45 minutes to remove the Hyundai’s roof to get Katherine out.
She was air-lifted to a trauma center to be treated for a laundry list of injuries, including six broken ribs, a broken left arm, a broken scapula, a bruised heart, a punctured lung and a sprained knee, according to the Herald-Press.
Though she was able to return to work a couple of months after the 18-wheeler accident, Katherine’s lawyer said his client continues to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety about driving, blaming the former for causing her to be passed up for a work promotion.
The trucking company admitted fault and issued a public apology to Scott, according to her lawyer.
Semi-truck accidents like the one Katherine was in are far too common.
In addition to the exploding number of trucks on the road, experts attribute the spike in 18-wheeler accidents to a combination of the federal government’s stagnancy in implementing new safety technologies and a failure by trucking companies to properly screen drivers.
Blame also falls on over-tired drivers and “passenger vehicles weaving dangerously in and out of the way of heavier, slower-reacting trucks,” according to CNBC.
In December 2016, Trucks.com reported that truck driving remained one of the deadliest U.S. occupations.
In 2015, according to the website, 745 trucks drivers were killed on the job, a slight decrease from the 761 killed the year before.
“Despite the drop, trucking transportation occupations accounted for slightly more than a quarter of all work-related fatalities last year, more than any other U.S. job,” the website reported, citing the annual workplace fatality report released by the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Injured by in an 18 wheeler accident? You have legal rights. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at McDonald Worley today for a FREE case evaluation.