Due to their size, truck accidents tend to be much more severe than car accidents. In a recent study, researchers ranked all states by fatal truck accidents, and determined that Rhode Island is the 2nd safest state with regard to fatal truck accidents per capita.
Important National Statistics on Truck Accidents
While commercial trucks make up only 6 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States, they are responsible for 11 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the nation. In 2014 alone, this translated to the death of more than 3,900 people nationwide. In some states, the percentage of fatal accidents involving trucks was even higher. For example, in North Dakota, nearly one in four fatal crashes involves a commercial truck. Other states with high fatal truck accident rates include Wyoming, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
When truck accidents occur, they are likely to cause severe injury and even death. In many cases, those injured in the accident are the occupants of vehicles other than the truck. Specifically, in 2013, research showed that 71 percent of all people killed in truck accidents were the occupants of smaller vehicles involved in the crash. 11 percent of people killed were not in a vehicle at the time of their death. The drivers of the trucks themselves accounted for only 17 percent of truck crash deaths.
Truck Accidents in Rhode Island
Fortunately, Rhode Island has one of the better records with regard to fatal truck crashes. In fact, Rhode Island had fewer truck fatalities than any other state in 2014, with the exception of Massachusetts. In 2014, Rhode Island’s population exceeded one million, but only three large trucks were involved in fatal truck crashes in the state. This translates to only 0.0003% fatal crashes per capita.
Legal Implications of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents may occur for any number of reasons. However, some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Drivers operating a commercial truck while fatigued and/or sleep deprived.
- Distracted driving.
- Disregard for traffic laws.
- Road rage.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Forgetting to check a blind spot before maneuvering.
When truck accidents occur, occupants of smaller vehicles can suffer severe injuries and even death. Truck accidents may also result in significant property damage. If you have been involved in a commercial truck accident and you believe the driver of the truck was at fault for what happened, you may be entitled to compensation. Depending on the situation, the driver, the driver’s employer or an insurance company may be required to compensate you for your hospital bills, medications, ongoing treatment and lost wages. In many cases, victims in trucking accidents may also be entitled to compensation for the trauma they experienced. Likewise, if you lost a loved one as a result of a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the individual’s final expenses, as well as wrongful death.
To learn more about filing a claim after a truck accident, please contact Taos Injury Lawyers.