Many people in Pennsylvania worry about getting home safely when they take to the road, especially if they are traveling on highways with large numbers of semi-trucks. While truck drivers are often safer operators than the public as a whole, the size, weight and volume of large trucks mean that crashes involving them can be particularly catastrophic or even deadly. People in other vehicles are far more likely to be seriously injured in a crash involving a tractor-trailer. There are several factors that can make serious trucking accidents more likely on the road.
According to one study, in at least 44% of severe truck collisions leading to injuries or even fatalities, truck drivers were at fault for the accident. One of the most common reasons was excessive speed, noting the longer stopping distance and massive weight and size of semi-trucks. In some cases, truck drivers were violating the speed limit; in other cases, they were traveling too fast in inclement weather like rain, snow or sleet. Wet roads can make already long stopping distances even longer while ice can make it all too easy for a speeding truck to spin out of control.
Maintenance issues were also a serious concern in trucking collisions that the study analyzed. Almost 30% of all severe truck crashes involved vehicles with brake problems. The brakes may have been poorly maintained, adjusted improperly or too old to function correctly. Trucking companies may try to save money by failing to keep up with proper standards for braking safety, and the results can be catastrophic. Defective brakes combined with speeding present a particularly severe danger on the road.
When people are involved in a trucking accident, they may face catastrophic injuries or lifelong disabilities as a result. A personal injury lawyer may help injured accident victims to pursue compensation for their lost wages, medical bills and other damages.