While the number of people dying in auto accidents has steadily decreased across the United States since 2005, new statistics show Missouri is dealing with some troubling statewide motor vehicle accident trends. Not only have Missouri traffic deaths been rising, but in particular fatalities from accidents with big rigs have been increasing.
According to the Missouri Highway Patrol (MHP), the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents statewide dropped 40 percent between 2005 and 2011. After six years of reduction, however, the number of traffic deaths has risen 21 percent so far for 2012. In particular, fatalities from accidents involving large trucks or tractor trailers have become more common. In 2010, there were 105 deaths from big rig crashes, while last year’s reports show that 120 people died from injuries sustained in truck accidents on Missouri roads.
Accidents involving large trucks are more dangerous and deadly to passenger car drivers and occupants because of the large size and weight of tractor trailers. Semis can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. This may account for the fact that even though there have been slightly fewer Missouri truck accidents, there have been more deaths.
There are several potential causes of truck accidents which include:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Speeding or going too fast for conditions
- Alcohol or drug use
- Improperly loaded freight
- Overweight trucks
- Poorly maintained equipment
Big rigs also have larger blind spots than passenger cars, and more difficultly stopping and maneuvering quickly. This can make it more difficult for truckers to avoid potential accidents even if they see them coming. Although truckers have a duty to drive responsibly, motorists can also do their part to avoid truck accidents by taking a few simple steps. These include not following big rigs too closely, making sure they can always see a trucker’s mirrors (so they know they are not in the truck driver’s blind sport), and avoiding distractions and staying focused on the road.
If You Have Been Involved in a Missouri Truck Accident
If you or your loved one was recently involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer or other large commercial vehicle, contact a Missouri truck accident attorney for advice about your rights and options. A personal injury lawyer with experience investigating and litigating truck crash cases will advocate on your behalf and help hold those responsible for your injuries accountable.