Driving next to a truck can be a scary experience when you’re driving a car resembling a mouse trying to survive a life-threatening encounter with an elephant-like truck.
In fact, you can literally feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up in the moments like this.
And staying alert when driving next to trucks in Riverside or anywhere in California is a good call, considering how many people get injured and killed on freeways in the U.S.
One such truck accident occurred earlier this year when a crash involving a semi-truck shut down all southbound lanes of the 215 Freeway in Riverside.
The scary collision, which took place near the Van Buren Boulevard exit, involved four cars that were struck by the behemoth vehicle. The truck accident occurred when the truck veered left into the center median, hit a guardrail, and overturned as a result.
The truck’s trailer went into the southbound lanes of the freeway, striking four cars and leaving one of the drivers injured.
Truck accidents on the freeways of Riverside and all across California are not uncommon. In 2013, the most recent year for which the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) finalized truck accident statistics, nearly 4,000 people were killed in over 3,500 wrecks involving trucks in the U.S.
In fact, truck accident fatalities in our country have been steadily on the rise since 2009, with the 2013 data showing a 17.3% increase compared to 2009.
To see just how dangerous truck accidents are, let’s delve into the FMCSA data. In 2013, of all 3,964 people that died in truck accidents, 2,834 were occupants of other vehicles. That’s 71%!
So basically, while sitting behind the wheel of a monstrous 18-wheeler may not be as deadly (only 17% of truck drivers and occupants of trucks are killed), getting into a truck accident in a sedan or other motor vehicle can cost you your life.
Note: the other 11% accounted for non-occupants such as pedestrians and cyclists.
Similarly, statistics show that of those injured (95,000), over 72% were occupants of other vehicles, and 25% were occupants of trucks. It’s also not surprising that pedestrians and cyclists were less likely to get injuries in truck accidents (2%) than to get killed (11%).
If you’re wondering what kind of trucks you should avoid at all costs the next time you see one on the freeways of Riverside or anywhere in California, it’s a tractor/semi-trailer.
This type of truck accounted for 2,308 fatal truck accidents in 2013 (or 60.7% in percentage). The second most deadly type of trailer is single-unit, 2 axles (18.3%). Single-unit, 3+ axles round up the top 3 deadliest trucks with 9.4%.
Now that we’ve established the deadly dangers trucks pose to car drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists in Riverside, how do you sue a truck driver or his trucking company for a truck accident?
Statistics show that claimants who hire truck accident attorneys have a higher chance of obtaining compensation for their injuries, damages, and losses.
It’s not recommended to negotiate with a trucking company or your insurance company before you consult a truck crash lawyer. More often than not, victims of truck accidents – being in a state of shock – may agree to initial settlements that almost never cover all of the damages.
Don’t let the trucking company or your insurance company minimize your compensation. Instead, get the compensation that you truly deserve for all your physical and emotional pain and suffering as well as financial damages.