Ochophobia is the fear of vehicles. For a specific fear of semi-trucks, one writer has coined the term: semiochophobia. If you have semiochophobia, you are not alone. A lot of passenger car and truck drivers, as well as motorcyclists, are scared of 18-wheelers, and for good reason according to a recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Report. Below are some insights into semi-truck accidents offered by the IIHS report:
- In 2017 (the most recent year of completely analyzed data), there were 4,102 people killed in large truck crashes. 68% of those killed were occupants of a passenger vehicle. 14% were pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists.
- Since 2009, truck accidents have increased 30%.
- A semi-truck can outweigh a passenger vehicle by 20 to 30 times, which makes them more aggressive in an accident. Aggressive is a term of art in accident reconstruction used to describe which vehicle can inflict the most damage.
- Given the height differences, cars can under-ride a tractor-trailer.
- 52% of the fatalities in large truck accidents occurred on major roads rather than interstates and highways. 32% of the deaths happened on interstates and highways and the remaining 15% were on minor roads.
- 49% of fatal truck accidents took place between 6 a.m and 3:00 p.m. During this same time period of the day, passenger cars account for 30 percent of the crashes.
- Weekdays are the deadliest days for fatal truck crashes. Fatal crashes are least likely to occur on a Sunday followed by Saturday as the second safest day.
- In terms of the types of crashes, 31% of passenger vehicle occupants killed in a crash with an 18-wheeler were in vehicles that collided head-on with the truck. 25% of those passenger vehicle occupants were killed in side impacts. Finally, 22% of passenger vehicle occupants were killed when their passenger vehicle struck the rear of the semi-truck (under-ride, as mentioned above, becomes a factor in these types of crashes).
- Tractor-trailer drivers involved in fatal crashes rarely have an illegal blood alcohol concentration.
- Despite federal regulations that limit the hours of service for truck drivers, too many truckers violate the regulations and operate their trucks in a fatigued condition, and driver fatigue can be as deadly as drunk driving.
- Poor truck maintenance especially bad brakes are often the culprits in large truck accidents. Because semi-trucks are so much heavier, they require 20 to 40% more distance to stop than a passenger car traveling at the same speed. If the brakes are poorly maintained, the distance is even greater. For example, a truck pulling tandem 28 foot trailers and traveling 60 mph will need approximately 530 feet to come to a stop. If the roads are slick from rain or snow, it can take up to a quarter of a mile.
- Tractor-trailers make up 4.3 % of the vehicles on the road and roughly 1 in 10 highway deaths involves an 18-wheeler.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a semi-truck and you would like to discuss your legal options, we are here to help. Give us a call. We offer a free, no-pressure, no-obligation consultation. Our award-winning lawyers handle all accident cases on a contingency basis so you pay nothing out of pocket. We only get paid if we win. If we do not win, you owe us nothing. And, unlike some firms, we do not charge interest on case expenses. Give us a call at one of our offices below:
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