Commercial trucking accidents aren’t too common among automotive accidents overall, but when they do happen, they’re especially damaging. With so much potential for things to go wrong, it’s important to know which states have the highest rates of trucking accidents.
Trucks drive all around the country, so knowing which areas are particularly dangerous is helpful for truckers and other drivers alike. Those other drivers are primarily the ones who need protection, however, since a majority of incidents with fatalities see the occupant of the truck walk away alive. Learn about which states have the most trucking accidents, and discover what a truck accident attorney can do for you.
Frequency of Accidents
Truck accidents are less common than car crashes, but considering how dangerous they are, these accidents happen far too often. Several hundred thousand truck accidents happen every year, with a large number resulting in injuries to people. According to data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly 4,000 fatalties occurred in truck accidents in 2012. That put the rate of death, which has been steadily rising since 2009, at around 11 people every day.
It is notable that the bulk of injuries and overwhelming majority of fatalities in trucking accidents are suffered by people not in the commercial truck. These huge trucks can cause massive damage to their significantly smaller automotive counterparts, and that damage spreads to the occupants inside. Always be extra careful whenever you’re driving around commercial trucks, especially when you’re traveling in the more dangerous states.
States With the Most Trucking Accidents
The most dangerous state by far for trucking accidents is Texas. This may be due in part to the sheer size of Texas, as there are more opportunities for accidents to happen. The second most dangerous state is California. Although California is well over half the size of Texas, it has less than half the number of accidents, so high accident rates can’t be attributed solely to size.
Another explanation for high rates of trucking accidents is population. California and Texas both have high populations, so there will naturally be more drivers on the road, creating more opportunities for accidents. Oklahoma, the eighth most dangerous state, has a notably low population. Clearly, this denotes that there are many factors besides size and population that go into the frequency of truck accidents, but there are universal steps we can take to make things better.
Reducing Truck Accidents
Many trucking companies have already taken measures to reduce the number of accidents on the road. One of the most common steps is scheduling trucks to be off the road during heavy traffic on weekday mornings and evenings. They’re also working to make trucks lighter in an effort to reduce the damage when there is an accident.
User error plays a big role in all accidents, truck accidents included. To deter tired driving, companies are now stricter on truckers’ process of logging hours, and are implementing numerous safety and warning features within the truck’s technology. While these improvements will eventually lead to a reduced number of collisions, the threat won’t be eliminated entirely.
Liability in Truck Accidents
Trucking companies are so committed to reducing truck accidents because they’re usually the ones held liable for the accidents. Others, however, could also be held responsible for any trucking accident. The driver of the truck is the most obvious target, but the owner or person who leased the truck could be responsible as well. As you might expect, trucking companies have done a lot to get out of this.
In the past, trucking companies have tried to alleviate their responsibility by hiring drivers as private contractors. They would argue that victims could only hold the driver responsible rather than the entire company. Companies have also started leasing equipment, so the legal owners would be subject to blame rather than the trucking company. Fortunately, these arguments no longer hold up thanks to new federal regulations that assign responsibility to the company for anything that happens with a truck they use.
Nashville Truck Accident Attorney
Fortunately, Tennessee isn’t even in the top 10 states for truck accidents, but they can still happen. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in Nashville, you’ll need the help of a skilled truck accident attorney to get the damages you’re owed. Contact Mitch Grissim & Associates for a free consultation today and find out how much your case is worth.