Young & McCarthy LLP

Defects and fatigue can contribute to truck accidents

Many Ohio motorists have reservations about driving near large trucks. Due to the size and weight of these vehicles, any collision can be particularly dangerous to the other cars, drivers and pedestrians on the road. In order to develop measures to reduce the number and severity of these collisions, it's important to understand what causes crashes involving large trucks.

In 2015 alone, 3,852 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks. Of those, 69 percent were occupants of other passenger vehicles. Another 15 percent were pedestrians, cyclists or motorcycle operators. While negligence and fatigue can be a major factor in dangerous truck crashes, serious vehicle defects can up the risks even more. In addition, carriers that make use of exemptions to federal rules limiting drivers' hours of service may contribute to the fatigue that develops after many hours behind the wheel.

A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that trucks that had defects significant enough to pull them out of operation were over four times as likely to be involved in a crash. Common defects include damaged brakes, fraying tire sidewalls, burned out or missing headlights and other lighting issues. Even less serious problems made a crash more likely; trucks that had brake maintenance violations were 50 percent more prone to be in an accident.

Trucking accidents can be very dangerous for others on the road, especially when the truck driver is negligent or dangerous. Someone who has been injured in a truck collision can consult with a personal injury lawyer about seeking compensation for damages.

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