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Truck crash catalysts: many, varied and dangerous

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2020 | Auto Accidents

If roadways spanning Colorado and the rest of the country were oceans, commercial trucks would be whales.

That depiction just seems true and obvious, doesn’t it? Big rigs can sometimes be seen from miles away. Select tractor trailers, freight trucks, construction vehicles and other commercial configurations dwarf surrounding passenger vehicles in size. It is far from a rarity to see cars on freeways and interstates sandwiched between trucks that are 60 feet long and weigh as much as 80,000 pounds.

Legions of motorists who negotiate traffic in modestly sized vehicles can readily attest to the bracing challenges sometimes posed by close proximity to monster-sized rigs eating up road space next to them. Personal safety is suddenly paramount when the road is being shared with an outsized 18-wheel truck.

Why big trucks in Colorado pose a special safety challenge

The point concerning sheer size has already been underscored. That singular girth alone accounts for enhanced safety risks where large commercial rigs are concerned. A Colorado legal source addressing truck accidents notes that it additionally contributes to crash risks linked to factors like these:

  • Improperly loaded cargo (e.g., overweight load, inadequate securing)
  • Reckless driving behaviors such as speeding, tailgating and excessive lane weaving
  • Driver distractions, including phone use and various social media interactions
  • Faulty or overdue vehicle maintenance, especially concerning brakes and tires
  • Driver fatigue linked with pressurized work schedules or hours-of-service violations
  • Trucker impairment from drug and/or alcohol use

Any one of those bulleted concerns can tie directly to a catastrophic or deadly crash.

Some relevant facts driven home by truck-crash statistics

Researchers from the insurance website PolicyAdvice provide a deep well of relevant truck accident statistics that they duly term “disturbing.” Here are a few key entries:

  • More than 4,000 deaths nationally in a recently measured year tied to crashes involving a truck
  • Clear losers – data spotlight that a stunning 97% of deaths occurring in truck-passenger vehicle accidents are occupants in the smaller conveyances
  • Trend anomaly pointing to spiked 18-wheel crashes in the midst of an overall drop in motor vehicle accidents
  • Nearly 75% of all deaths among passenger vehicle occupants occurring in crashes with big trucks

The above legal source notes that accountability in a truck crash can be fragmented and diffuse, and that trucking companies and insurers routinely fight hard to deflect liability and avoid paying out in damage claims.

Injury victims and loved ones can proactively respond to tactics aimed at avoidance and mitigation by securing timely and proven advocacy from an experienced personal injury legal team.