There is a lot of traffic here in Southern California, and passenger cars share the roads and freeways with a large number of trucks, notably 18-wheelers.
Injury crashes involving large trucks have been increasing for several years, and that means motorists must be more vigilant.
According to statistics compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there was a decline in injury accidents involving large trucks or buses from 2005 to 2009. Unfortunately, from 2009 to 2015, the number of crashes increased by 62 percent. In one year alone—2014 to 2015—the number of big trucks that were involved in fatal highway crashes ticked up from 3,749 to 4,050, an increase of 8 percent.
The where and when of accidents
You might think that most accidents involving large trucks occur somewhere along our expansive freeway system. However, the FMCSA data shows that about 60 percent of all fatal crashes recorded took place on rural roads. Most of these fatal crashes—83 percent—occurred during the week rather than on weekends, but 35 percent of the fatalities happened at night between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
By a large percentage, collision with another vehicle was the cause of resulting death or injuries. Rollovers caused a small number of fatalities or injuries, and in 2015, at least one large truck was involved in 27 percent of fatalities and 11 percent of injuries related to work zone accidents.
Truck-car accidents continue to increase, and the resulting legal cases are complex. A personal injury attorney will tell you that in terms of seeking compensation for victims, there are usually several parties that might be held liable: the truck driver, the owner of the vehicle, the company that provides maintenance for the truck and other parties. Accidents require a thorough investigation to discover what caused the crash and who was at fault to obtain a full and fair financial settlement for the victim.