From Erie to Philadelphia and all points in between, the state of Pennsylvania consists of a web of roads and highways totaling more than 120,000 miles. From the Great Lakes to the eastern seaboard, the wheels of commerce turn swiftly thanks to large trucks that move goods across the state.
Although truck operators are professional drivers are heavily regulated, failures happen, mistakes are made and accidents occur. Unfortunately, when a big rig and a small car cross paths, the car frequently comes away with extensive damage, and so do its occupants.
Leading causes of large truck accidents
There are many reasons why truck accidents occur, and sometimes it's the fault of the other driver. Trucks do not maneuver as easily or brake as quickly as smaller vehicles, and semi-truck drivers can have difficulty avoiding accidents as a result.
Frequently, though, the cause of these accidents is equipment failure. Some of the leading causes of vehicle defect-related collisions are:
- Tire/wheel failure
- Unsecured trailer
- Overloaded trailer
- Power train failure
Despite mandatory vehicle inspections, some truckers are able to slip through the cracks. Regrettably, the results are often tragic.
How many truck accidents happen in Pennsylvania?
Given the high volume of commercial truck traffic in the state, it is not surprising that many accidents occur. In 2015 alone, there were nearly 7,000 accidents involving at least one semi-truck. That figure represents an increase of more than 1,000 accidents since 2012.
Fortunately, the number of fatal accidents has been decreasing over the same time span. Still, 149 people were killed in large truck accidents in 2015. Of those 149, only 27 were truck drivers. So these numbers ultimately show that over 10 percent of all traffic fatalities were people in vehicles struck by large trucks.
These numbers don't include the many people injured in truck-related accidents every year. Because of the immense size of big rig trucks, accidents are often major, and can inflict severe trauma. Broken bones, internal injuries, and brain and spinal cord injuries are all potential outcomes for truck accident victims.
Seeking fair compensation after a large truck accident
Trucking companies are in business to make money, and will vigorously defend themselves after an accident. For an individual to reach a fair settlement, or any settlement, it may be an extremely challenging and frustrating experience.
If you've been in a serious accident with a large truck, you and your family should be able to focus on recovering from injuries and trying to get back to living as normal a life as possible. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side may help to ease the strain. While you're fighting to regain your health, a skilled attorney can fight for your right to compensation.