It is inevitably a fact of life that with large rigs on the roads, accidents happen. When cars and 18-wheelers tangle, the results are nasty.
Even though the nation relies on trucking to transport goods clear across the country, the accident statistics for the industry give one the chills. The U.S. Department of Transportation indicates that someone is killed in a rig wreck just about every 16 minutes.
If you do the math on that, you get roughly 90 personal injury accidents happening every day. Every day of the year, there are 90 accidents. What staggering numbers to even begin to contemplate; numbers that often are used in court when an Arkansas injury lawyer handles a trucking wreck case on behalf of a client.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that when a behemoth weighing in at about 80,000 pounds hits a smaller vehicle, which may weigh about 3,000 pounds, the big rig completely creams the other vehicle. Often, there isn’t a whole lot of the other vehicle left to pick up at the accident scene. Unfortunately, there often aren’t a lot of people left alive either.
For those who do survive an accident like this, their lives are often changed forever due to the catastrophic nature of their injuries which may include amputations, traumatic brain injury, fractures, crush injuries, spinal cord injury and paralysis. It’s enough to make you want to stay home; enough to make you wonder why accidents like this happen in the first place.
Typically, many of the big rig wrecks are the result of a number of factors which may include poorly trained truckers, negligent driving, driving while exhausted, speeding, traveling with an improperly balanced load, poor or no maintenance, inattention, texting, driving while distracted or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or being overloaded. Truckers are human and many figure that nothing will happen to them while they are on the road. Many take chances based on that assumption. Unfortunately, sometimes the assumption will kill them and others.
Despite the fact that the trucking industry does have rules in place that are supposed to limit the number of hours a trucker may drive, this seems to be more honored in the breach than in actual practice. This fact has come to light in other cases handled by an experienced Arkansas injury lawyer. Truckers don’t make much money, which drives many to break industry rules to pay their bills. They will either put in more hours to make more money or end up driving faster and further to meet company expectations, whether they are realistic or not.
Given the long laundry list of things that may be going on with truckers in the nation today, can you really expect that the big rig in the lane next to you is being piloted by a sober, rested, responsible trucker that is well versed in road safety? The answer is: Probably not. In light of that, take steps to protect yourself and give them lots of room.
Michael G. Smith is anArkansas personal injury lawyer and Arkansas business dispute lawyer, practicing personal injury law and veteran’s benefits in Arkansas. Learn more by visiting Arkansaslawhelp.com