Sharing the roads with 18-wheelers

Due to their large size and heavy weight, semi-trucks and commercial trucks can cause serious damage and even death in collisions with other vehicles. When an 18-wheeler accident takes place, the results are usually messy and catastrophic. Semi- and commercial truck accident statistics reveal the following:

  • At least one fatality occurs in 98 percent of all traffic collisions involving a semi-truck.
  • Driver fatigue is responsible for roughly 30 percent of all commercial truck accidents.
  • For every 100 million miles driven on U.S. roadways, there are 2.3 deaths and 60.5 injuries caused by big rigs.
  • Fatal tractor-trailer accidents cost Americans more than $20 billion each year, $13.1 billion of which is the cost associated with loss of quality of life.

More than 500,000 accidents involving semi-trucks occur every year in the United States. Of those collisions, 5,000 results in fatal accidents on an annual basis.

Rules truckers must follow

Truckers are required to follow more rules than a simple ban on cell phone use. There are several state and federal laws established to increase safety for truck drivers and the people around them.

According to federal law, semi- and commercial truck drivers must have a commercial driving license, also known as a CDL. To get a Massachusetts CDL to drive out of state, you must be 21 years of age with no record of license suspension or revocation. There are also specific physical evaluations and background checks required for certain types of CDLs.

Daily driving time is also strictly monitored. Truck drivers are only allowed to drive a total of 70 hours per week. For every eight hours of driving, truckers must take a 30-minute rest, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The rule is intended to reduce the number of fatigue-related trucking accidents and to reduce the incidence of death and devastating injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal injuries.

Who pays for trucking accidents?

In most trucking accidents, the trucking company is liable for injuries caused by the negligence of its drivers. When trucking companies hire someone to work for them, they are responsible for making sure that the drivers are qualified. If a company fails to take the proper steps to determine whether the driver is capable of operating a commercial vehicle, then the company can be held responsible for negligent hiring. If you have been injured by a driver that was negligently hired, consult an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your potential claim.

Contact reliable Massachusetts personal injury attorneys

If you have been injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler, you may be entitled to compensation. Call to arrange a free consultation and discuss your case with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. We work on a contingency-fee basis, so you don’t pay unless we win your case. Thornton Law Firm LLP has been protecting Boston’s injured for 40 years. Call us at 1-888-491-9726 or contact us online.