Most traffic accidents are minor fender-benders that occur in parking lots and on local Ohio roads. While these types of crashes can be expensive in terms of car repairs and increases in insurance rates, they don't usually result in human fatalities. Most crashes that cause deaths occur on the nation's highways.
Fatal crashes involving cars have declined 2 percent in the past decade. However, the rate of fatal crashes involving trucks has been increasing by 18 percent since 2009. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2012, a total of 3,921 people were killed in crashes involving trucks. Often, the individuals killed in these truck crashes are not truck drivers but are instead car drivers who get involved in truck crashes.
The reasons behind truck crash fatalities going up while car crash fatalities are declining is unclear. Alcohol use, a major cause of car crash fatalities, doesn't seem to be involved in most truck crashes. When inspected, an alarming 20 percent of trucks are found to have multiple safety violations, suggesting that poorly maintained trucks may be a cause of some accidents. Tired truck drivers who violate regulations about driving hours may also be a major cause of truck crashes due to delayed reaction times in response to unsafe actions by car drivers.
If someone has been killed in a traffic accident involving a truck, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help. In order for a truck driver or trucking company to be found guilty of negligence resulting in death, it is necessary to be able to demonstrate that the company or driver did not take reasonable action to prevent the crash. If the truck driver was impaired, in violation of regulations about excessive driving hours or was driving recklessly, he may be found liable for negligence. If the truck was in poor repair, the trucking company may be responsible. If a car driver cut off the truck, the driver of the car is likely to be found at fault.