Big Rig Accident Lawyer
Orange County
Trucks or “big-rigs” are one of the largest vehicles you will encounter on the road. They can span up to 75 feet in length and can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. As you can imagine, these vehicles can cause some of the most devastating injuries in vehicle to vehicle collisions. Each year there are around half a million big rig accidents across the United States. Every year, around 5,000 people will die from those accidents. The rate of death is much higher than an auto accident. Silverthorne Attorneys notes that while truck accidents only make up about 7% of all motor vehicle crashes, they result in 12% of all auto accident deaths.

Major Causes of Big Rig Accidents

The most common cause of big-rig collisions, are lack of sleep for the driver, causing roughly 30% of all truck accidents. Some other common causes of big rig collisions are speeding, failure to yield, tire blowout, overloaded trucks, and drunk driving.

Big Rig Accident Statute of Limitations

In California, the law imposes a statute of limitations, which sets a maximum amount of time that legal proceedings can occur after the date the incident. Each year at Silverthorne Attorneys, people call our attorneys to ask for help. They all have legitimate cases, but find their statute of limitations has run out. It is one of the most difficult things for me to tell them I can’t help because they waited too long.

Big Rig Accident Statistics

  • 5,374 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks, representing thirteen percent of all traffic fatalities. Of these, 78 percent were occupants of another vehicle, 14 percent were large truck occupants and 8 percent were non-occupants. An additional 123,000 people were injured in those crashes.
  • Large trucks make up only three percent of all registered vehicles and seven percent of all vehicle miles traveled. Yet, large trucks constituted nine percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes, and four percent of all vehicles involved in injury and property-damage-only crashes.
  • Large trucks were more likely to be involved in a fatal multiple-vehicle crash-as opposed to a single-vehicle crash-than were passenger vehicles (84 percent of all large trucks in fatal crashes, compared with 62 percent of all passenger vehicles).
  • One out of eight traffic crash fatalities was the result of a collision involving a large truck.
  • Most of the fatal crashes involving large trucks occur in rural areas (67 percent), during the day (68 percent) and on weekdays (80 percent).
  • A loaded tractor-trailer requires 20-40 percent further stopping distance than a car. With an empty trailer, the discrepancy between the truck and the car is even greater.
  • Of the trucks with out-of-service violations, more than one-third of them have problems with brakes. (Federal Highway Administration)
  • All new tractors and trailers are required to have anti-lock brakes. Anti-lock braking systems are effective in preventing wheel lock and loss of steering in emergency stopping, especially on wet roads.

Federal regulations allow drivers of large trucks to drive up to 16 hours a day. However, drivers under the regulations can compile 60 hours in less than five days by alternating ten hours of maximum permitted continuous driving with the minimum eight hours off duty. Surveys reveal that many drivers of large trucks violate the regulations on hours of service. Studies also show that driver fatigue plays a role in large truck crashes and that drivers are more likely to crash after many long hours of driving. (IIHS) The Department of Transportation is currently considering a revision of these hours-of-service rules.

Almost 30 percent of large truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had at least one prior conviction for speeding, compared to slightly less than 20 percent of the passenger vehicle drivers in fatal crashes. (NHTSA)

If you or a loved one has been involved in any situation – collision, injury or death – related to a big rig truck, call Silverthorne Attorneys immediately for assistance.