A semi-truck can weigh up to 20,000 pounds and take 2 to 3 times longer to stop than the average passenger vehicle. This makes driving in reverse, otherwise called backing, one of the most challenging and dangerous maneuvers a semi-truck driver can make. Even worse is the limited visibility produced by these large vehicles blocking a driver’s line of sight.
According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, semi-truck accidents are responsible for over 30,000 injuries in the United States every year. 3,000 of these injuries are considered severe, and 171 are fatal.
If you or a loved one have been injured in semi-truck backing accidents, an experienced Atlanta Car Accident Attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
National Trucking Accident Statistics
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates and sets out safety and maintenance standards for the country’s commercial trucking industry. Despite this, some drivers will ignore the rules, leading to accidents, as the following 2014 statistics show:
- 3,903 people were killed in semi-truck, large truck, and big rig accidents
- 73 percent of these fatalities were of occupants of other vehicles
- 2 percent of the involved truck drivers had a BAC level of .08 or higher
- At 111,000, the number of injuries caused by truck accidents rose by 17 percent of 2013
Why Is Backing a Semi-Truck Difficult?
A fully-loaded 50-feet long semi-truck can weigh anywhere between 20,000 and 80,000 pounds. This makes them significantly harder to control than the average car. If the driver is not aware of their surroundings at all times, they may be unable to back up the car and stop without causing an accident. This could also happen if the truck is poorly maintained or overloaded.
Backing a semi-truck is not just difficult because of size. Some conditions that could make this near impossible include:
- Overreliance on technology – Most semi-trucks are fitted with alarms that produce a distinctive beep when the truck is backed up. Because the driver expects other drivers to react to the sound, they might fail to inspect the area properly.
- Location – Truck drivers have to practice extra caution in some areas more than others, especially those with little foot traffic and high congestion.
- Time of day – Driving at night on a road with semi-trucks can prove hazardous because of reduced visibility. The backing up driver may fail to see a close-by driver and ram into them.
Semi-Truck Accident Injuries
Semi-trucks are very heavy and capable of causing significant injury to the human body, especially at great speeds. When such a vehicle rams into a regular passenger car, the effects are often devastating, life-altering, and sometimes permanent. Some of the most common semi-truck injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Limb amputation
- Fatal injuries
Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Today
Semi-trucks are large enough that they don’t have to be moving at great speeds to cause significant damage, making semi-truck backing accidents extremely dangerous. Fortunately, an experienced attorney can help you pursue compensation for such an accident.
Ponton Law is dedicated to ensuring you get the best outcome out of your claim. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact us today at (404) 860-2454 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Atlanta Car Accident Attorney.