Semi-truck accidents can have horrific consequences. There are 11 million semi trucks travelling greater than 288 billion miles each year in the United States. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that during 2009, large trucks were involved in 286,000 truck accidents which resulted in 3,000 deaths and 74,000 injuries. These numbers represent many victims and families impacted by semi-truck accidents.

The severity of truck accidents can be influenced by the size and weight disparity between large trucks and passenger vehicles and between other types of vehicles that may be involved in a truck accident. A variety of circumstances can result in truck accidents including situations when a truck driver is fatigued, distracted or when the truck is loaded in such a way that there is improper weight distribution. In addition, when a truck driver fails to adjust to adverse weather conditions or changes in traffic flow, a truck accident can result.

There are ways for passenger vehicle drivers to help protect themselves as much as possible from truck accidents and some of them include awareness of blind spots, allowing trucks to have the extra space and time they need to maneuver, always utilizing turn signals and abiding by other rules of the road. In addition, legal protections may be available to victims and family members harmed by a truck accidents and negligent or careless truck driver or truck company.

Depending on the circumstances, victims and their families may be able to receive compensation for the physical, financial and emotional damages suffered in a truck accident. Victims should always be familiar with the variety of ways to protect themselves on the roadways and when they have been harmed in a truck accident.

Source: State Farm, “Tips for Avoiding Tractor-Trailer Accidents,” Feb. 19, 2013