According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, large trucks moved more than 867 million tons of goods through the state of Pennsylvania in 2011 and thanks to e-commerce and overnight delivery demands, they project that number to double by 2040. As a result, there is a massive number of tractor trailers that move through Mercer County and the rest of the state and accordingly, tractor trailer accidents are not uncommon.
In 2017, there were over 6,500 heavy truck accidents in Pennsylvania. 88 of those accidents occurred in Mercer County and with the projected rise in the number of trucks in Pennsylvania, the number of truck accidents and injuries will likely rise in Mercer County as well.
Tractor trailer accident injuries are often devastating which means that medical bills are extremely high and ongoing medical care and rehabilitation are likely required. When permanent disability is involved, required medical care may be life long and disability modifications and accommodations may be necessary. Disabilities sometimes prevent people from being able to work or limit their earning capacity. These compounding financial burdens often leave injured people and their families feeling distressed and helpless.
If you have been injured in a large truck accident, it is imperative that you speak with a tractor trailer accident lawyer to advocate on your behalf. Large trucking companies have many resources. Their insurance providers and attorneys will often pressure accident victims into quick settlements that do not fairly compensate them for their injuries and damages. An experienced truck accident attorney will examine your injuries and look at long term impacts in order to value your claim and negotiate a fair settlement.
Common causes and factors in tractor trailer accidents
- Speed: Driving over the speed limit or driving too fast for present weather and road conditions.
- Drugs and alcohol: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Distractions: Distracted driving including texting, watching videos, and other smartphone distractions.
- Loss of control: Tractor trailers are massive and difficult to maneuver with drivers frequently lose control of the vehicle when they are driving too fast or otherwise operating negligently.
- Improper loading that can make a tractor trailer more likely to lose control or rollover
- Poor driver training: Inadequate safety training for drivers is dangerous for both the driver and other people sharing the road.
- Hours of service violations: Drive hours are limited for large truck drivers in order to prevent driver fatigue.
- Poor maintenance: Poor maintenance and inadequate safety checks often lead to serious accidents.
- Defective parts: Defective truck parts such as faulty tires and brakes may cause highway accidents.
- Poor weather conditions: Drivers often feel pressure to meet delivery deadlines and may continue driving even when the weather makes it unsafe to do so.