Trucking companies impose strict deadlines upon their drivers in an attempt to drive up sales and minimize costs. Consequently, truckers have enormous stress and pressures piled upon them and are often deprived of necessary sleep. Combining these factors with the enormous size of trucks makes truck accidents common and more fatal than typical automobile accidents.
Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Arizona
While both federal and Arizona state truck laws exist in an attempt to minimize the number of tractor-trailer accidents, drivers often ignore the regulations in an attempt to increase their employee standing, or companies sidestep them to save costs. While any driver is prone to a mistake, truckers may often be sleep deprived due to unrealistic deadlines, which increases the likelihood of a truck accident. Other common causes of truck accidents include:
- Breaking speed regulations
- Overloaded tractor-trailers
- Poor truck maintenance
- Failure to accurately maintain a truck log
- Bad road and/or weather conditions
Phoenix, AZ Truck Accident Statistics
Even though Arizona truck laws and national regulations exist in order to minimize the occurrence of truck accidents, over 135,000 non-fatal truck accidents occur annually. Even more frightening, 4,300 fatal accidents occur each year.
Due to heavier weight, trucks are more prone to jack-knifing or rolling over than standard automobiles, which inherently results in a more catastrophic collision. In fact, truck accidents have an 80% greater probability of resulting in a fatality than a standard auto accident.
Tractor-trailers constantly crisscross Arizona’s mega-highways. However, such a high volume of trucks occupying Arizona’s roadways results in an increased number of tractor-trailer accidents. Due to the enormous size and speed of these vehicles, accidents of this nature can result in serious personal injury and death—usually to occupants of passenger vehicles.
Summary of facts surrounding personal injuries and deaths of tractor-trailer accidents:
- 98% of those who perish after a tractor-trailer accident are automobile passengers
- 500,000 tractor trailer accidents occur each year in the United States
- According to the National Transportation Safety Board and Triple A, approximately half of all tractor-trailer accidents occur due to driver fatigue
- One-fifth of tractor-trailer truck drivers have admitted to falling asleep at the wheel
According to data taken from the Federal Highway Administration’s Highway Statistics Series, a total of 5,163,015 motor vehicles were registered in Arizona in 2012. Private and commercial trucks comprised more than half of Arizona’s registered vehicles at a total of 2,837,688, or about 55%. An additional 31,680 trucks were classified as publicly-owned.
With such a high concentration of public, private, and commercial trucks sharing Arizona’s roads with cyclists, pedestrians, and other drivers, accidents involving trucks are common. The Arizona Department of Transportation reports the following statistics in its 2014 Motor Vehicle Crash Facts for the State of Arizona regarding the 109,554 total crashes:
- 34,250 involved pickup trucks and vans (16.28%) resulting in:
- 190 fatalities.
- 10,424 injuries.
- 23,636 for only property damage.
- 11,866 involved trucks and buses (5.64%) resulting in:
- 82 fatalities.
- 3,288 injuries.
- 8,496 for only property damage.
Pickup trucks were the most statistically likely truck to be involved in accidents, while tanker trucks were least likely, with specific truck involvement ranked by vehicle as follows:
- Pickup Trucks – 32,317
- “Other Truck Combinations” – 8,514
- Truck Tractors (with/without Semi-Trailer) – 1,876
- Dump Trucks – 181
- Garbage Trucks – 128
- Wrecker Trucks/Tow Trucks – 111
- Fire Trucks – 44
- Concrete Mixer Trucks – 40
- Tanker Trucks – 32
Types of Injuries Victims of Truck Accidents are Most Prone To
Depending on factors like speed, angle, road conditions, and vehicle safety features, common injuries resulting from truck accidents include:
- TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)
- SCI (Spinal Cord Injury)
- Head and Neck Injuries
- Severe Burns
- Severe Lacerations
- Organ Damage/Internal Bleeding
- Bone Fractures
- Scarring and Disfigurement
All of the aforementioned injuries can have long-lasting or even permanent physical, financial, and emotional repercussions for victims and their loved ones. For example, depending on the location and severity of the injury, a traumatic brain injury can result in effects including but not limited to paralysis, reduced perception of pain and temperature, fecal and/or urinary incontinence, slurred speech, chronic migraines, and other serious medical complications. According to CDC data, motor vehicle accidents were among the top five leading causes of TBI from 2006 to 2010, accounting for 14.3% of all cases.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Expect If I Was Injured in a Truck Accident?
If a trucker or trucking company’s negligence resulted in an accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your personal injuries and/or property damage, which can include:
- Loss of wages
- Medical bills
- Car repairs or replacement
- Diminished earning capacity
- Loss of companionship
- Physical and emotional pain
Contact Phoenix, AZ Truck Accident Lawyer Jerrold Mayro Today
It is extremely important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible following any kind of auto accident. Not only will your attorney investigate the accident, consult with experts, and represent you in negotiations with the insurance company – you also need to follow rigid legal deadlines. Finding out who are the proper responsible parties and how they are responsible may be complex and may not be obvious. If you wait for too long, you could deprive yourself of legal recourse altogether. That means missing out on compensation to which you might otherwise be entitled.
A deadline known as the statute of limitations restricts the amount of time in which a plaintiff may file an injury claim, such as a truck accident claim. Other types of claims and deadlines may also apply to the crash. These also are not necessarily obvious. It is prudent to seek legal representation sooner rather than later. The sooner you speak with an attorney, the more time will remain to complete a thorough and aggressive investigation into the circumstances of your accident.
If you were injured in a truck accident in Phoenix or elsewhere in Arizona, or if one of your loved ones was wrongfully killed, you may be able to recover compensation to help with medical bills, lost income, funeral expenses, property damage, and other costs and losses arising from the accident.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in the Phoenix, Arizona area, please contact our Arizona truck accident office today or call (602) 604-8400 to schedule your personal and free consultation with Jerrold A. Mayro.