US Truck Accident Overview
Commercial trucks such as eighteen-wheelers, delivery trucks, and big rigs often pose unique dangers to other road users, especially occupants of smaller cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Due to their size, massive loads and unwieldy built, traffic accidents involving commercial trucks tend to inflict more severe injuries, cause more property damage, and lead to more casualties than other types of road accidents. In fact, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), more than 4000 people lost their lives in 4,123 large truck accidents in the US in the year 2016 alone.
Unlike light vehicles which are easy to maneuver, commercial trucks need to be driven with extra care, and even a slight error by the driver can lead to a catastrophe. To make the matter worse, commercial trucking companies are under lots of pressure to deliver oodles of cargo quickly and cheaply. It is not uncommon for some trucking companies to cut “shortcuts” to meet such stringent client demands and deadlines.
What’s more horrifying is that some trucks plying Atlanta roads often skip routine maintenance. As if that isn’t dire enough, some of the truck drivers are forced to put in long hours, and end up driving for days on end. Needless to say, this risque driving behavior and negligence by trucking companies put millions of Georgia road users at significant risk.
Atlanta Truck Accidents: Facts, Stats, and More
According to a GDOT (Georgia Department of Transportation) report, more than 300,000 people are involved in over 340,000 traffic accidents in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. Of these road accidents, more than 23,000 were large truck accidents in Atlanta (most notably involving 18-wheeler rigs and tractor trailers). This stats shows the sheer danger trucks accidents present to Atlanta road users. If you or your loved one was involved in any of these accidents, don’t hesitate to reach to an experienced truck accident attorney in Atlanta.
Every year there’s an average of over 5200 large truck accidents in Atlanta resulting grave personal injury and over 230 fatalities.
1 out of every 6 Georgia traffic deaths occurs in a crash involving a commercial truck. When combined with crashes involving semi trucks, that approximately 4 times those involving passenger vehicles.
More than 50 percent of large truck accidents in Atlanta is often caused by a tractor-trailer or an 18-wheeler.
In crashes involving smaller vehicles and large trucks, more than 85% of those killed were occupants of the smaller cars. On the overall, this type of accidents leads to more deaths.
From 2000 to 2016, Atlanta large truck accidents have risen by a whopping 12.6 percent. No matter how you look at it, you are more prone to a truck accident. It helps to have a reliable truck accident attorney Atlanta by your side.
The top 10 counties in Georgia regarding truck accident prevalence are Bibb, Chatham, Carroll, Hall, Clayton, Richmond, Cobb, Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Fulton. You’ve probably noticed that most of these counties are found in the greater Atlanta area.
What Causes Truck Accidents in Atlanta?
According to a renowned truck accident attorney in Atlanta, the most common causes can be categorized into two groups: those caused by large truck drivers and those caused by passenger car drivers. Either way, here are the five most common causes of truck accidents in Atlanta.
Truck Driver Errors
While large truck drivers are well trained and highly skilled, they are not immune to errors. In fact, most large truck accidents result from driver error which, in turn, is caused by:
Drug or Alcohol Abuse: Trucking lifestyle and demands from an employer can take a toll on the truck driver. That’s why some of them turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with it, causing accidents.
Driver Tiredness: Again, commercial trucking companies are supposed to deliver millions of tons of cargo and freight — and they are supposed to do it fast and inexpensively. Oftentimes that means trucking companies resort to forcing their driver to put in more hours. As such, most truck drivers suffer from fatigue and sleep deprivation, a recipe for disaster on our Atlanta roads.
Reckless Driving: Sometimes truck drivers fail to stick to Atlanta traffic laws, putting millions of other road users in great danger.
Speeding: driving over the limit is another result of the demands of the industry. Even worse, these truck drivers resort to speeding while hauling large loads.
Lack of Experience: Ask any truck accident attorney in Atlanta. It’s quite common for unskilled drivers to drive large trucks.
Poorly Maintained Trucks
If trucking companies neglect to undertake routine checkups and maintenance, the truck can pose great risk on the roads.
Truck Accidents Caused by Passenger Car Drivers
What leads to passenger vehicle to cause truck accidents?
- If the driver changes lanes abruptly
- When the passenger car drivers beside or dangerously close behind a large truck
- Misjudging the speed of an approaching commercial truck, especially at an intersection
- When a passenger car drives between two commercial trucks
When to Call a Truck Accident Attorney Atlanta
If you or your loved one has lost someone or got injured in a large truck accident, you might be entitled to compensation. Perhaps the next most crucial step is to reach out to an experienced and reputable truck accident attorney Atlanta. Even better, you can get an initial case review at no cost to you.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. (2018). Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2016. [online] Available at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts-2016 [Accessed 10 Jul. 2018].
Findlaw. (2018). Common Causes of Truck Accidents – FindLaw. [online] Available at: https://injury.findlaw.com/car-accidents/common-causes-of-commercial-truck-accidents.html [Accessed 10 Jul. 2018].
Firm, T. (2018). Georgia Car Accident Statistics | Highway Safety Information. [online] Harrybrownlaw.com. Available at: https://www.harrybrownlaw.com/georgia-car-accident-statistics [Accessed 10 Jul. 2018].
Goldberg & Weigand, LLP. (2018). 5 Common Causes Of Trucking Accidents | Cape Cod Truck Accident Lawyer. [online] Available at: https://www.capeinjurylaw.com/Personal-Injury/Top-5-Causes-Of-Trucking-Accidents.shtml [Accessed 10 Jul. 2018].