From 2010 to 2011 the number of deaths from big rig accidents on Missouri roads has been increasing.
While 2010 saw 105 deaths from commercial truck accidents, in 2011 the number was increased to 120. The trucking industry in the U.S. is huge and Missouri sees a lot of those semis and big rigs passing through. These vehicles can be extremely dangerous when not driven with an appropriate amount of care and caution due to their immense size and weight.
Drivers of passenger vehicles who find themselves sharing the road with these big rigs should always exercise caution, but truck drivers have an even bigger responsibility to stay safe and protect other drivers. Trucking is a heavily regulated industry that dictates protocols that trucking companies and their drivers must follow. Regulations regarding the number of hours drivers could be behind the wheel were recently amended in order to decrease the likelihood that drivers were operating their big rigs while fatigued, which is a significant cause of accidents.
Even though the overall number of accidents decreased in 2011, according to the Missouri Highway Patrol, the number of commercial truck accidents increased. Captain Tim Hull of the Missouri Highway Patrol said that this increase could be attributed to the fact that multiple people can die in accidents involving trucks that weigh 80,000 pounds or more.
While this is very scary, it is better to take note of how to avoid an accident, than to hear that the majority of the accidents that happen are unavoidable.
Missouri is in the direct center of the country and is considered a “bridge state” by transportation companies. This is because highways and subsequently truck routes criss-cross and intersect in Missouri as the trucks make their way to their ultimate destinations.
Data from the Missouri Department of Transportation shows that Missouri has the 11th biggest interstate highway grid. In addition, there are more than 32,000 miles of state roads. Trucks make connections along the eastern state border where they can pick up freight from the rail lines that intersect with the roads. Interstate 70 links both Kansas City and St. Louis on opposite ends of the state, and is extremely busy.
Over a trillion dollars worth of freight passed through the state in 2001, according to a study done by the Department of Transportation. Since then, the industry has continued to grow. The majority of this freight was transported via truck. Farm and food products are some of the most commonly transported commodities hauled by trucks.
A study done several years later, in 2006, the NHTSA found that truck accidents are most likely to be fatal when there are three or more vehicles involved. Three-fourths of truck accidents occur during the day. Many crashes are caused by tractor trailers that are either speeding or traveling at speeds that exceed safe levels due to the given conditions. Vehicles crossing over into trucks’ lanes are another common accident cause, as well as trucks that drift off the right side of the road.
St. Louis Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Missouri, contact an experienced St. Louis truck accident attorney as soon as possible. It is important that you act quickly and discuss your case with an experienced attorney who has successfully handled truck accident cases. These accidents include many unique circumstances, require investigations, and evidence must be uncovered quickly in order to ensure that you will get the compensation you deserve. To speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer, call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
photo credit: Dougtone