South Carolina drivers will likely be interested in learning about the effect that large truck crashes are having in the United States. In 2017, 4,102 people were killed in accidents involving large trucks. Seventeen percent of the fatalities were the occupants of the truck. Fourteen percent of the fatalities were pedestrians, motorcyclists or bicyclists. Sixty-eight percent of the fatalities were occupants of cars or passenger vehicles. These statistics represent a 28 percent increase in large truck-related crashes when compared to 2009.
These numbers are startling, especially when they are compared to the accident and fatality rates with other modes of transportation. One could imagine the outcry people would have if 4,000 people were killed every year by air carriers or railroads. Those numbers are put into perspective when one thinks that to attain the same statistics, a 737 airliner would need to crash two times a month all year and kill everyone on board.
While these numbers are startling, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has still not mandated changes that could prevent a number of rear-end truck accidents. Some feel that this agency bears a level of responsibility for the accidents that are occurring.
Investigations have shown that the NHTSA has not followed through on requests from the National Transportation Safety Board to make changes that would minimize the chance of a truck rear-ending another vehicle. It is true that a semi-truck can collide with vehicles a number of different ways. However, when trucks rear-end drivers, it produces some of the most devastating results.
When a person is injured in a truck accident, they may be entitled to compensation. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help their client evaluate and assemble a civil claim. They may do this by considering the evidence gathered by police officers and other authorities. They might review eyewitness accounts and camera footage as well as consult accident reconstructionists and use this information to negotiate a settlement with the responsible party.