Large semi-trucks are a common sight on Arizona roads. Unfortunately, when a semi truck is involved in an accident with a smaller vehicle, the occupants of the smaller vehicle often suffer serious injury or even death.
Arizona residents may find it interesting to learn that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention being involved in a truck accident during the course of one's regularly assigned task of trucking on roadways is a leading cause of fatalities for truck drivers.
In order to understand what rules and regulations apply to commercial motor vehicles, one must have a basic understanding of what vehicles are considered to be CMV's in Arizona. Under current Arizona law, CMV is defined as any single or a combination of vehicles that are specifically made, utilized or maintained to either transport people or goods for profit on Arizona highways.
Even though both truck accidents and car accidents fall under the legal theory and principle of negligence, commercial truck accidents are different from car accidents in several respects. In general a commercial truck commonly referred to as a semitrailer - when loaded with its cargo - is estimated to weigh nearly 25 times more than an average car. Additionally, a commercial truck is typically much larger in size when compared to a typical car.
According to one statistic, it is estimated that when a fatal car and truck accident occurs, 9 out 10 times those travelling in the car are killed. Additionally, Arizona residents may not know that in nearly 66 percent of those fatal crashes, the impact of the collision involved the front of the truck.
There may be a misconception out there that when an 18-wheeler, also known as a big rig, is involved in an accident on the roadways with a car, the car occupants are automatically entitled to compensation. However, the reality is that even though an accident between a car and big rig can be much more serious and deadly because of the size difference, it does not automatically mean that the truck driver was at fault or negligent.
In order to understand the impact and burden of truck accidents on drivers, our Arizona readers may find it alarming to learn that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, semi or large truck accidents that resulted in fatalities increased from a little over 3,200 in 2009 to about 3,800 in 2012. This amounts to an 18 percent increase in fatalities involving a truck in a mere three-year span. Furthermore, during that same timeframe, injuries sustained in truck accidents increased by 45 percent.
Trucks are the transport method of choice for delivering goods and products all over the country, and drivers have to share the highways with trucks that, when laden with cargo, can weigh as much as 25 times the weight of an average car. This means that when accidents occur between large trucks and regular motor vehicles the damage inflicted by the truck on a typical car is usually more destructive, and many times will cause serious injuries and even fatalities.
Arizona residents may find it interesting to learn that the number of truck accidents that result in fatalities has been on the increase and become an uncomfortable all too common of an occurrence now-a-days. According to numbers put out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, motorists on American highways are subjected to nearly 11 fatal truck accidents on any given day, on average. That equates to almost 4,000 people being killed as a direct consequence of truck accidents every year in this country. In one case, a mother and her two young children were instantly killed when a semi-trailer driver collided with their car. The semi-driver was also killed.
Semi-trucks are an intregral part of the transportation of goods, and many people routinely drive beside them as they carry various loads. However, truck accidents can result in very serious injuries and even deaths to those who must share the roadways with big rigs.