Every day, truck accidents throughout the state of Arkansas cause injuries, paralysis, and even death. What causes these accidents, and how can Arkansas drivers protect themselves from the risk of truck accidents?
Mechanisms of Injury
There are many ways a truck accident can seriously injure or kill a victim in the other car. Some examples include:
Sudden Stops: The Texarkana Gazette reported on a truck accident fatality which occurred in December 2015, caused by a sudden stop. After the driver of a tractor trailer stopped suddenly in the middle of Interstate 49 in Fouke, a series of chain reactions caused multiple fatalities and many injuries. Dense fog reduced visibility and likely contributed to the accident.
Stopping is a particular problem for large, heavy vehicles, because they require greater stopping distance. When driving near a big rig, passenger vehicle drivers should allow extra space between their vehicle and the truck. Drivers should also be on alert for any sudden movements by the truck driver.
Inattention by Drivers of Smaller Vehicles: Even when truck drivers do everything right, trucks can injure other drivers who are not driving safely. This is what happened to a Fort Smith woman, who crossed a median and drove her Mustang into oncoming traffic. Local NBC affiliate WPSD reports that a semi-truck ran over the Mustang and killed both the driver and her eight-year-old passenger.
This tragic accident shows the importance of attentiveness around large trucks. In an accident with a big rig, the smaller, lighter vehicle will absorb more impact from the collision. Drivers of small vehicles will therefore always be at a safety disadvantage in a truck accident. The best way to avoid this problem is to exercise extreme caution around any truck in the roadway.
Inexperienced Truck Drivers: One of the most common and frustrating problems for transportation companies is the high rate of turnover among truck drivers. Long hours, low pay and tough working conditions have caused turnover among truck drivers to remain near 100 percent. This means that truck drivers on the roadway are almost always inexperienced, and this increases the accident risk. Also contributing to the high turnover rate is that fact that truck driving is a very dangerous job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 25% of all workplace fatalities in America in 2015 occurred in the trucking industry.
There are just a few of the many potential causes contributing to the high rate of truck accidents. While this risk will never be completely eradicated, drivers can mitigate this danger by driving defensively whenever there is a big rig nearby. If you are injured in a crash with a large truck, know that there may be numerous defendants liable for damages. The truck accident attorneys at McDaniel Law Firm can help you identify them and hold them accountable.