18-wheelers have been referred to as the “king of the road” because of their size and power. But the friendly depiction of these vehicles that gained traction through movies like Smokey and the Bandit is not always correct. In fact, sometimes these big rigs could be referred to as the “monsters of the road.” That’s because, although these vehicles are not necessarily in more accidents than passenger vehicles, they are certainly more likely to result in tragic outcomes when accidents do occur.
Havoc on the Road
The sheer size of 18- wheelers makes them incredibly dangerous when they are involved in a collision. Several agencies that track accident statistics give us the details to just how perilous these monsters can be:
- In 2016, there were nearly 4,000 fatalities and well over 100,000 serious injuries as a result of 18 wheeler collisions nationwide;
- More than six in ten of these fatal accidents take place on rural highways, while almost one-third occur on interstate highways;
- The majority of crashes—over two-thirds– involving injuries and/or deaths occur during daylight hours;
- More than 80 percent of truck accidents occur on weekdays;
- Dangerous and/or flammable chemicals are involved in roughly 4 percent of fatal 18-wheeler accidents;
- Nearly 75 percent of fatal 18 wheeler incidents involve another vehicle or object invading their lane;
- While one-third of accidents involving these trucks are blamed on the driver of the 18-wheeler, over half are attributed to the driver of the passenger vehicle.
Mississippi is no stranger to accidents involving these 18 wheelers:
- February 2019: The driver of a pickup truck was killed due to a collision with an 18-wheeler in Pike County; the driver of the rig sustained minor injuries;
- May 2019: When a passenger vehicle attempted to turn left in the path of a logging truck in Hinds County, the driver of the car was killed, and the trucker experienced minor injuries;
- June 2019: A fiery crash between an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle in Pike County resulted in one fatality.
Common Causes of Accidents
Without doubt, accidents involving 18-wheelers have many causes, and every situation is different. Some common issues related to these collisions include:
- Scheduling pressures forcing drivers to drive while fatigued or at higher speeds;
- Faulty equipment;
- Passenger vehicles that do not provide enough room for the rigs, making a quick stop impossible;
- Distractions, such as cell phones, that take a driver’s focus off the road;
- Impairments due to drugs or alcohol.
After an Accident
If you or a family member have been the victim of a collision involving an 18-wheeler, you likely have more to recover from than simply the fright of being at the mercy of the monster. If medical bills and/or funeral costs are looming, you need someone every bit as tough as the 18 wheeler’s insurance company to fight for justice on your behalf. At the office of Derek L. Hall, PC, our Jackson 18-wheeler accident attorneys will provide aggressive and informed legal support. Contact us for a free, confidential consultation today. If we accept your case, it will cost you nothing unless we win for you.