Almost three-quarters of the fatal motor vehicle accidents in Indiana and around the country involve a large truck, and the vast majority of the road users who die in these crashes are passenger vehicle occupants. The U.S. Department of Transportation created the Fatality Analysis Reporting System in 2009 to keep track of road fatalities. Over the next eight years, the number of people killed in semi-tractor trailer accidents increased by 52% from 3,147 to 4,102.
It could be worse
The annual truck accident death toll would be even higher if the government had not introduced regulations designed to prevent crashes caused by fatigue and inattention. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration restricts the amount of time truck drivers can spend on the road and mandates periodic rest brakes, and all tractor-trailers are now equipped with automatic stability control. Studies suggest that this feature saves more than 1,000 lives each year. Road safety blitzes also prevent accidents by identifying dangerous trucks and taking them off the road. Tire safety is something that truck inspectors pay close attention to as defective tires cause about a third of all commercial vehicle accidents.
Truck accidents in Indiana
Since 2013, the number of large truck accidents in Indiana has increased by about 5% every year. In 2017, tractor-trailers in the Hoosier State were involved in 125 fatal accidents and 1,860 crashes that resulted in injuries. These accidents were often caused by truck drivers who exceeded posted speed limits, made unsafe lane changes, followed too closely or failed to yield.
Evidence in truck accident cases
When truck accidents are caused by fatigued, distracted, impaired or reckless driving, road users who are harmed may seek compensation by taking legal action. When gathering evidence for truck accident lawsuits, experienced personal injury attorneys may check police reports, hours of service logs, previous violations and the experience and record of the truck driver involved. If this evidence points to negligence, attorneys may urge trucking companies or their insurers to settle lawsuits and avoid court.