Transportation by truck is essential to the commercial and economic life of a vast country like the United States, with about two-thirds (70 percent) of goods transported by truck and representing some $671 billion to the economy. South Texas is a key regional hub where truck drivers are constantly on the move to deliver freight, and in the age of Amazon and same-day delivery, their importance to the economy is only growing. Unfortunately, this also means that road crashes are more likely to occur and by 2030 will be the country’s fifth-leading cause of death.
Nationally, 18-wheelers and other big rig trucks cost an astounding $20 billion in accident settlements each year. But this is a small price to pay compared to the pain and suffering caused to victims and their families.
Anyone would cringe to think about the devastated lives and physical wreckage at stake in any 18-wheeler accident, but once the smoke clears there are also legal ramifications to be dealt with and someone (possibly multiple parties) to be held responsible.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), between 2016 and 2017 the number of large truck accidents increased across all categories: fatal crashes, injury crashes, and property-damage-only crashes. Here are some other key statistics that Ryan has put together to help put 18-wheeler accidents in perspective:
- In 2017, large truck fatalities rose 9 percent from the previous year. The biggest increase was for 10,000 to 14,000 pound trucks, including dual rear-wheel pickup trucks.
- 64 percent of fatal truck crashes occurred on rural roads, 25 percent on interstate highways, and 84 percent on weekdays.
- The majority of big truck crashes are caused by prescription drug use (26 percent) and speeding (23 percent).
- Nearly half (40 percent) of trucker fatalities were for those not wearing safety belts.
- An 18-wheeler can weigh 40 tons as opposed to 2.5 tons for a regular vehicle, making it an unstoppable force. The FMCSA defines a large truck as having a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds and includes noncommercial; intrastate-restricted trucks; and commercial, interstate-operated trucks.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in an 18-wheeler accident, Ryan can help. Contact the Law Office of Ryan C. Solis, PLLC, at (956) 686-9600 for your free legal consultation today.