Thousands of trucks travel on Georgia’s highways and interstates every year, moving freight and working as indispensable components in the state’s trade and commerce system. However, there are also countless accidents every year involving these massive vehicles on Georgia’s roads that result in dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries.
Large trucks and tractor trailers, by their very nature and design, are more likely to cause serious injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicle when they are involved in an accident. These trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and their bulk can make any collision with them especially dangerous.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s statistics from 2006 to 2016 portray an interesting picture of Georgia’s truck safety record. A look at the data indicates that the state was able to make significant progress in reducing the number of people killed in truck accidents between 2006 and 2010. During this 5-year period, there was a continuous decline in truck accidents beginning with 232 fatalities in 2006 to ending at 153 in 2010.
However, in the following year things took a turn for the worse, and the data indicates that Georgia recorded 175 deaths in truck accidents in 2011. That number dropped to 153 the following year, but in 2013 the number of deaths again increased to 163. In 2014 and 2015, Georgia recorded 152 and 182 fatalities respectively with 2015 marking the highest number of fatalities over a ten-year period. In 2016, Georgia recorded 179 fatalities in truck accidents, a drop from the previous year no doubt, but a significant increase from the 153 deaths that had been recorded in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
Overall, nationwide in 2016, there were 1.1 fatalities in every fatal truck crash recorded, and out of those, 83 percent involved occupants of the other vehicle involved in the crash.
For your safety, it is essential that you drive cautiously when you are around a tractor trailer or semi-rig. Remember that the truck driver may have several blind spots in his field of vision, including certain sections of the sides of the trailer, right behind the truck and right in front of the truck. If you cannot see the truck driver in his side view mirror, then it is very likely that he cannot see your vehicle either. If you find your vehicle in these areas, try to get out of these “No Zones” as quickly as possible. If you have to pass a truck, do so quickly, and without hovering around the sides of the truck for too long. Also, you should always remember to never tailgate a truck or try to cut in front of one.
Being involved in a truck accident can be devastating for the occupants of a motor vehicle or motorcycle involved in the crash. Statistics show that the occupants of a smaller vehicle may be at a higher risk of fatality or catastrophic injury in any truck accident, compared to the truck occupants. If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, talk to an experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer at the Katz Law Firm, and determine your legal rights to compensation. You may be eligible for damages that include medical costs, lost wages and other damages.