Driving-linked risks for conscientious motorists in Polk and Cobb counties and elsewhere across Georgia are constant and varied. A representative list of challenges ranges broadly from pedal-to-the-metal speeders and tailgaters to nasty weather and animals suddenly darting in front of vehicles.
And, of course, there are legions of drivers in our midst who routinely negotiate traffic with one hand firmly wrapped around a cellphone. Negligent behind-the-wheel behaviors also include grooming, steering with knees while eating, playing with pets and even intermittently nodding off.
As scary as all that is, there is one specific risk to all drivers on the road and their accompanying passengers that is especially outsized. Namely, that is the typically adverse outcome — commonly severe, often tragic — linked with an accident involving a large truck.
There are of course many thousands of those daily crisscrossing Georgia, on thoroughfares ranging from major interstates and freeways to divided roads and corridors connecting rural communities.
Just how dangerous are accidents involving large trucks?
Although careful Georgia drivers already know the answer to that above header query, relevant statistics accurately culled by federal safety regulators might reasonably surprise them and even temper their perceptions. A report posted late last year by the U.S. Department of Transportation notes these alarming facts:
- More than 11 people died in large truck accidents nationally on average every single day of the year over a recent measuring period
- Reportedly, 82% of fatal crash victims were individuals other than truck occupants
- Stunningly, 97% of all fatalities in direct truck-passenger vehicle collisions were riders in the smaller conveyances
- Recent trending data point to a progressive uptick in truck-related accidents, despite the advent of new safety technologies
It is easy to see why the results linked with truck crashes are generally so dire. There are many distinct factors at work that both figuratively and literally drive downside outcomes in such accidents. One informative website on large truck crash causes/results and potential legal remedies for victims duly cites “the uniqueness of a trucking injury case.”
It is obvious that commercial trucks are roadway behemoths. The federal Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that some of them “weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars.” Understandably, it takes an undue amount of time to slow or stop that moving weight.
Moreover, large trucks have huge blind spots. Their ground clearance is high, which increases so-called “underride” risks for occupants in other vehicles. Professional truckers routinely operate under strict time schedules, which sometimes results in stressed and overly fatigued drivers. Trucks that are always on the go sometimes forgo scheduled maintenance checks and repairs.
Any combination of those factors can yield catastrophic results for crash victims and their families. A truck-linked crash can also spur a a compelling need to secure a meaningful post-accident legal recovery that fully assigns accountability, addresses deterrence and secures maximum compensation responding to injury-promoting negligence.
Driving is often a pleasant experience, but Georgia motorists know that it also entails challenges and occasionally material risks as outlined in the above subject matter.
We wish all motorists across the state a safe driving experience.