Truck accidents between tractor trailer drivers and passenger vehicles seems to be on the rise in our region. As such, injuries and deaths associated with these accidents are also on the rise in Pennsylvania. Truck drivers individually log hundreds of thousands of miles a year and the companies they work for count on their drivers to meet time-sensitive deadlines that could otherwise cost them thousands of dollars if those deadlines are not met. Although many truckers tend to get a bad rap, the truth is that the majority of them follow company policies and federal laws; however, there will always be those few who make poor decisions and break the rules for their own selfish benefit.
A recent study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported the number of fatal truck accidents in 2014 to be more than 3421. That number was up by nearly one hundred from 2013. Truck accident injuries in 2014 totaled more than 60,000. That was more than 4000 more than 2013.
Another FMCSA study says that truck driver fatigue and lack of sleep, as well as trucker speeding, are the most recurring factors when it comes to truck accidents. But one of the main reasons that many passenger vehicles are involved in accidents when commercial tractor trailers are on the road is because of what the FMCSA calls "highway bullying." Highway bullying doesn't always necessarily end in damages to the truck, but when truckers "bully" passenger vehicle drivers, it can often cause them to have accidents of their own and cause multi-car pile-ups with other passenger vehicle drivers.
Many victims of highway accidents claim that they were being tailgated by a tractor trailer, causing them to tense up and lose focus of other vehicles around them. Some drivers say they lose their bearings when switching lanes to avoid being tailgated by trucks and this can lead to accidents. Anonymous truckers admit to doing this in an effort to pass and avoid a cluster of smaller cars. In addition, truckers will suddenly switch lanes to show drivers that the road is belong to them and as a warning for other drivers to keep their distance.
But truckers have rules and laws to follow and need to be held strictly responsible. When truckers fail to take the proper amount of breaks and get the necessary sleep, or when they speed in order to reach a customer sooner, they are violating company policies, state laws, and federal laws. If you've been injured because of a trucker's negligence, or if you have lost someone close to you who was killed by a negligent trucker's actions, it is extremely important that you secure yourself a competent truck accident attorney who will work to enforce justice against all responsible parties. At Goodrich and Geist, our Western Pennsylvania truck accidents lawyers are standing by to field your truck accidents questions and offer you a free preliminary consultation at 412-766-1455.