At the beginning of March, a multi-vehicle collision involving a semi-truck caused the death of a 4-year-old boy in Alabama. The car accident involves at least five other vehicles. The semi-truck was carrying a mobile home when the collision occurred. The accident happened on a rural road, not on a freeway, demonstrating that semi-truck accidents can happen anywhere and are fatal even when the drivers are not driving at high speeds. Semi-truck accidents are particularly dangerous because of their massive size and weight. Unfortunately, Alabama residents die every year in fatal semi-truck accidents.
Alabama Truck Accidents are on the Rise
The Alabama Department of Transportation releases statistics for motor vehicle accidents every year. The most recent document analyzes crash statistics from 2018. The Department of Transportation can find a truck accident as one involving any heavier vehicle than a light truck or SUV. Trucks include tow trucks, work trucks, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, and delivery trucks. The number of truck accident fatalities has increased over the last 10 years.
In 2009, there were 84 fatalities and 1,615 injuries caused by truck accidents. In 2018, there were 121 fatalities and 2629 injuries caused by truck accidents in Alabama. Additionally, in 2009, there were just over 6,700 trucks involved in Alabama accidents. In 2018, there were over 10,000 trucks involved in accidents. As the number of trucks involved in accidents increases, the number of injuries and fatalities resulting from truck accidents increases.
Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
Most truck accidents are caused by driver negligence, including distracted driving. Truck drivers are often fatigued and over-tired as they try to complete as many long-haul jobs as they can as quickly as possible. When looking at the causes of truck accidents, it becomes clear that improper lane changes for lane usage accounted for the most accidents, 13.4 %. Other causes of truck accidents include:
- Failure to yield the right of way – 9.2%
- Unseen object, person, or vehicle – 8.8%
- Tailgating – 8%
- Misjudged stopping distance – 5%
- Defective equipment – 4.3%
- Improper backing up 8%
- Avoiding an object, animal, or person – 3.7%
- Improper turn – 3.3%
- Driving too fast for the conditions – 3.1%
- Crossing a median or the central line – 2.8%
- Failure to heed a traffic sign or signal – 2.7%
- Improper passing – 2.1%
- Driving while fatigued or asleep – 2.1%
- Running off the road – 1.5%
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances – 1.2%
- Driving at excessive speeds – 7%
- Unknown – 4.9%
- All other causes – 19.4%
According to the Department of Transportation, fatal truck accidents are more common on Alabama State routes. Of all of the fatalities caused by truck accidents, 29.8% occurred on state routes. Interstate accidents accounted for 28.9% of truck accident fatalities, and US routes accounted for 24.8% of fatalities. County roads were the second most likely location for truck accident fatalities, accounting for over 10.7% of all fatalities. Only 5% of truck accident fatalities occurred on city roads, demonstrating that truck accidents are more likely to be fatal when trucks and other drivers use high speeds on a freeway or highway.
Proving Liability in an Alabama Semi-Truck Accident
Accidents involving semi-trucks are more likely to cause severe injuries or even death. When large commercial vehicles collide with passenger vehicles, they can completely crush the smaller vehicles. Even though truck drivers must take mandatory breaks and follow extensive regulations, many truck drivers continue to drive while fatigued or distracted. One of the best steps you can take to prove liability and recover the compensation you deserve after a truck accident is to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Contact an Alabama Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer
If a negligent Alabama truck driver has injured you or your loved one, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. To win in a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to prove that the driver’s negligence or recklessness caused the accident that resulted in your injuries. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Heninger Garrison Davis will conduct a thorough investigation into your truck accident case to gather evidence that supports your case and proves liability. Contact our Alabama semi truck lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation.