Many motorists in Alabama get nervous when they travel alongside commercial big rigs. Considering these large trucks can weigh roughly 20 to 30 times as much as a passenger vehicle, this is understandable. Most fatalities in crashes involving large trucks are from passengers in smaller vehicles.
One of the most common culprits in these large truck accidents is truck braking capability. A truck that is loaded with a trailer can take as much as 30 times the road space to stop as a car. Wet roads and poorly-maintained brakes can make stopping more difficult for larger trucks. Another risk factor is driver fatigue. Federal motor vehicle regulations allow drivers to drive a total of 11 hours in a shift. Drivers who illegally push this hourly limit can quickly become tired and have reduced response times.
Recent statistics compiled by the US Department of Transportation show that 96% of all fatalities in two-vehicle crashes involving large trucks were passengers in smaller vehicles. Of all motor vehicle accident deaths, 11% were from large truck crashes. Tractor-trailers were responsible for 74% of all large truck fatality accidents, and 27% were involved with single-unit trucks. Of those who were killed in accidents as passengers of large trucks, 62% of crashes were with other large trucks.
For someone who has been hurt in an accident with a large truck, the injuries can have a tremendous impact on daily life. It is important to know what legal steps to take following the accident. An experienced motor vehicle accident attorney could help a victim file a personal injury claim that covers medical bills and lost wages.