Lancaster Truck Accident Lawyer
Semi-trucks (tractor-trailers, big rigs, 18-wheelers) were involved in nearly 7,500 traffic accidents in Pennsylvania in 2015. While most of these accidents occurred on state highways and interstates, over ten percent occurred on local roads. A look at the causes of these truck accidents show truck driver negligence and vehicle maintenance failures are by far the leading causes of these tragic yet preventable crashes. Lancaster truck accident lawyer John P. Stengel pursues personal injury and wrongful death claims on behalf of accident victims and their families against the trucking companies whose inexcusable failures and lack of commitment to traffic safety have caused a needless tragedy to occur.
Truck Crashes Often Lead to Serious Injury or Death of Passenger Vehicle Occupants
The vast majority of the Pennsylvania truck crashes noted above involved the truck hitting a passenger vehicle. Sadly, statistics show that the results of a serious truck accident can be catastrophic to the occupants of the car involved in the collision. While trucks were involved in only 5.4% of all Pennsylvania traffic accidents in 2015, they accounted for 11.8% of all fatal crashes. Of those deaths, only 2.3% were the occupants of the truck.
The reasons behind these injuries and deaths are plain. A tractor-trailer loaded down with cargo is 20 times heavier than the average passenger vehicle. Even a low-speed collision between the two types of vehicles can be harmful to the passenger vehicle occupants, but at highway speeds the results are often disastrous.
How Can the Trucking Industry be Made Safer?
Pennsylvania truck crash statistics reveal the leading causes of semi-truck accidents to be poor vehicle maintenance and driver error. The three main vehicle failures were tire and wheel failures, brake failures, and accidents caused by an unsecure or overloaded trailer. Thousands of 18-wheelers are removed from service every year during annual roadside inspections which reveal bad or missing brake components, bad tires and other emergency vehicle repair issues. It is simply unconscionable for trucking companies to fail to maintain their fleet in a safe condition, and to put trucks on the road in imminent danger of mechanical failure.
Truck driver error is most often linked to fatigued driving or even falling asleep at the wheel. Federal regulations limit truck driver hours of service to no more than 11 hours per day in a 14-hour shift. Despite the long hours allowed by law, truckers routinely flout the law and work even longer than they should without taking required breaks and time off. The result is fatigued or drowsy driving which ends in catastrophe. Truckers are also susceptible to other common driving errors, such as failing to check blind spots, distracted driving and texting while driving. As commercial carriers in charge of potentially deadly vehicles, truck drivers owe a duty to take care when changing lanes or turning, and to stay alert at all times on the road. More than one in twenty truckers are typically pulled off the road during roadside inspections for violating hours of service regulations, or for not having the required license or training to handle the big rigs they are driving.
Get Expert Legal Assistance after a Serious Pennsylvania Truck Accident
Trucking is a vital part of our local, state and national economy. Yet the toll truck accidents take on their victims can hardly be measured or compared. Trucking companies need to be held accountable to accident victims for the harm they have caused, and as a Board-Certified civil trial specialist with 25 years of experience in Pennsylvania personal injury and wrongful death cases, Lancaster truck accident lawyer John P. Stengel has the knowledge, skills and resources necessary to make trucking companies answer for their negligence. For help obtaining much-needed compensation after a truck accident in southeastern Pennsylvania, contact John P. Stengel at 717-290-7971 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.