Tractor-Trailer Accidents: By the Numbers
A Pennsylvania Traffic Data Report shows that on any given day, up to 13% of traffic on our Interstates and busiest urban highways is comprised of commercial trucks. As drivers, we share our thoroughfares like the Schuylkill and the Vine Street Expressway with everything from tractor-trailers and tankers to garbage trucks and flatbeds. Here are a few statistics about these giants of the roadways that may you appreciate—and hopefully avoid—dangerous Philadelphia truck accidents:
- 1998: The last year in which federal standards for underride protection devices were updated. An underride accident occurs when a vehicle (automobile or motorcycle, for instance) slides underneath the truck. An underride accident causes severe injuries and is a major cause of fatalities in tractor-trailer accidents. The original 1953 law required that some, but not all, tractor trailers and straight trucks with a cargo bed that was 30 inches or more above the ground have a guard to help prevent underride. The new law reduced that height to 22 inches and applies only to trucks manufactured after January 26, 1998. More importantly, it does not address the equally dangerous side underride accidents.
- 136: The number of fatal truck accidents throughout Pennsylvania in 2014. While no amount of money can compensate for the loss of a family member, a personal representative can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party on behalf of the beneficiaries (usually the spouse, children, or parents) of the deceased.
- 28: The percentage of truck drivers whose inattentive or distracted driving caused an accident. That is according to a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FCMSA), and is shown to be a major cause of tractor-trailer and other large truck accidents associated with truck driver negligence. A 2012 federal law sets restrictions on the use of hand-held mobile devices by commercial big-rig drivers. Failure to comply can lead to fines for the driver or the trucking company. When it causes an accident in Philadelphia, it can lead to a personal injury claim.
- (267) 457-5570: A number you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if you or a family member has been the victim of a truck accident in Philadelphia or a surrounding community. The complexity of a truck accident requires experienced legal assistance to help ensure that rights are protected and compensation maximized.
Philadelphia personal injury attorney David E. Kwartler authored this article. For more information, contact the law firm of Kwartler Manus LLC at (267) 457-5570.