Every year, truck accidents result in thousands of catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths in the United States. Tractor trailers, 18-wheelers, big rigs, fire engines, semi trucks, and other large commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of greater than 10,000 pounds account for the majority of accidents, deaths and injuries on the nation's roadways. The truck accident attorney s at Gordon & Doner have a combined 180 years of experience and have seen more than our fair share of accident related injuries.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one of every eight traffic fatalities is caused by a collision with a large truck, and most deaths that occur in these accidents are the passengers of the automobiles. Tractor trailers - large trucks that weigh 20-30 times more than passenger cars - account for only 3 percent of registered vehicles on the roads yet are involved in 9 percent of all fatal auto accident s, according to NHTSA.
Causes of Tractor Trailer and Truck Accidents
Tractor trailer and truck accidents are caused by a variety of factors including truck safety, driver skill level, and driver fatigue. Common sense dictates that a properly trained and licensed driver of these large tractor trailer trucks will improve performance and reduce auto accidents. However, a Federal Highway Administration study in 1996 concluded that the trucking sector is not providing adequate training for new drivers of large trucks. Specifically, the study determined:
- Less than one-third of new drivers of tractor trailers and other large trucks are properly trained
- Only half of the large truck training courses offered by private and public training schools are adequate in content and duration
- Only 10 percent of trucking companies offer sufficient training for their new drivers.
In 1984, the Department of Transportation released its Proposed Minimum Standards for Training Tractor-Trailer Drivers, but, unfortunately, the new standards were made voluntary instead of mandatory. Under the proposal, drivers would receive 320 hours of instruction - half of which would be behind-the-wheel and on-the-road. Currently, drivers with a CDL license are not required to have on-the-road experience.
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Have you been injured in a trucking accident?
If you have been injured in an accident involving a truck or tractor trailer and need a skilled truck accident attorney, please contact Gordon & Doner, P.A. for a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation. Please complete our online contact form or call us toll free at 1 (855) 722-2552.
For more information, please see the following related pages:
Facts About large truck accident s
Do's and Dont's of Truck Accidents
Vehicle Accidents FAQs
The Coalition for Commercial Truck Safety
Commercial Driver's License (CDL)