Residents of Baltimore and the surrounding areas routinely share the roads with semis and other large vehicles. Therefore, Maryland drivers may be concerned about recent research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that shows that fatalities associated with tractor trailer accidents have been on the rise. In 2011, there were a total of 3,781 people killed in accidents caused by large trucks, and that number increased to 3,921 in 2012.
Another consideration of accidents with trucks is the number of injuries. The same research found that the number of people injured in trucking accidents rose from 88,000 in 2011 to 104,000 in 2012.
It is also important to note that, in 46 percent of multi-vehicle accidents, the large truck and other vehicle were both traveling in the same direction. Only 9 percent of the accidents involved making a turn onto another road. While intersections can be dangerous, this information is important because it shows that merely being on the roadway carries some level of risk.
As with all drivers on the road, truck drivers are expected to follow certain protocol to maintain control of their vehicles and avoid accidents. However, they have some additional laws to follow because of the sheer size of the trucks and the weight they carry. Limitations are imposed on drivers based on the number of hours the can drive without resting, the size and weight of loads, and ongoing maintenance of the trucks. When investigators look into trucking accidents, they may choose to review all of this information to see if the driver is at fault for the accident. Depending on the findings, victims may be able to file suits against the driver, owner of the truck or shipping company to recover their financial losses after an accident.
Source: National Center for Statistics and Analysis, “Traffic Safety Facts – Large Trucks“, January 02, 2015
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