Across the United States, over 4,700 lives are taken each year as a result of a trucking accident. The sheer size, weight and speed of a commercial truck are often enough to effectively destroy a small passenger vehicle. Not only do truck accidents cause extensive property damage, losing a loved one due to the negligence of others causes devastation. Unfortunately, too many will become victims of truck accident fatalities in Tennessee this year.
If your loved one was killed in a Knoxville, TN truck accident, you may be eligible for financial recourse. Contact one of our compassionate attorneys today to explore your legal options.
Learn more about your legal options fill out the Free Case Review form to your right and youll be connected to one of our wrongful death lawyers.
Truck Accident Fatalities in Tennessee
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), is the agency responsible for regulating truck and bus safety, as well as reporting annual data on collisions with commercial vehicles.
The following truck accident death statistics reflect the annual average in the state of Tennessee (calculated from FMCSA data for the years 2000 2010):
- Over 130 killed
- Over 110 fatal crashes
- Over 120 trucks involved in fatal crashes
- Over 90 crashes involving other motorists
- Tennessee accounts for 2.8% of annual U.S. truck accident fatalities, crashes and trucks involved in fatal crashes
While the fatality rate for Tennessee residents may make up a small percentage of drivers, any accident resulting in death is a loss to the communities of the Volunteer State. If your loved one was killed in an accident with a commercial truck, you may be eligible for wrongful death benefits. An experienced lawyer has knowledge of intrastate vs interstate truck insurance liability and can assist you in determining the most appropriate course of action in your case.
Truck Accident Deaths across the US
Fortunately, the long-term trend in the United States is that deaths resulting from truck collisions are dropping. The FMCSA and DOT are also continually making efforts to improve regulations regarding commercial vehicle travel, in order to increase safety on the road for all motorists.
FMCSA statistics regarding fatal truck collisions in the US in 2010 include:
- Over 3,650 killed
- Over 3,250 fatal crashes
- Over 3,450 trucks involved in fatal crashes
- Over 85% of fatalities occurred to persons outside of the involved truck
- Passenger vehicles accounted for over 90% of secondary vehicles involved in multi-vehicle collisions
- Over 25% decrease in large trucks involved in fatal crashes between 2001 2010
- Approximately 3% of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes registered a BAC of 0.01% or greater
- Over 30% of large truck drivers in fatal crashes were noted for driver-related factors
- 7% of all fatal vehicle accidents involved commercial trucks
- Over 60% of fatal crashes involved large truck tractors pulling semi-trailers
- 3% of trucks in fatal crashes carried hazardous materials
- In over 30% of fatal crashes involving hazardous materials, the materials were released from the cargo component
- 4% of large trucks in fatal crashes were coded with vehicle-related causes
- Over 50% of coded vehicle-related causes involved brakes or tires
- Rollover occurred in 4% of fatal crashes
When it comes to fatalities on the road involving large commercial vehicles, the numbers show a devastating loss of life across the U.S. each year. In order for drivers to protect themselves, it is important to practice defensive driving skills, as well as educate themselves on the common causes of fatal truck crashes.
Causes of Fatal Truck Accidents
Considering the high mileage involved in commercial trucking, several factors can contribute to a fatal incident. Long distance driving is conducive to error in any vehicle, where factors of road hypnosis, fatigue and dehydration can all affect the driver. Many fatal truck collisions include driver-related factors that affect either the trucker or the driver of the involved passenger vehicle.
Some common causes of crashes and fatalities in truck accidents include:
- Driver distraction or inattention
- Failure to maintain lane
- Visual obstructions
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Bad weather
- Driver fatigue
- Improper maintenance
- Driver intoxication
- Neglect to use safety restraints
- Improperly judging braking distance
- Automotive failure
Any of the dangers faced by drivers each day can contribute to a collision, and the momentum created by the size and weight of most commercial vehicles can turn an injury-causing crash into a fatal incident. Drivers of passenger vehicles should be alert, aware and attentive when traversing Americas roads and highways.
If another's negligence or error contributed to a fatal trucking accident in which you have lost a loved one, we urge you to seek legal guidance. While nothing can bring back the life of a family member, the compensation that may be rewarded in a wrongful death lawsuit can ease the financial stresses that often come with a death in the family.
Types of Truck Accidents that Can Lead to Death
Certain types of collisions tend to end in fatality more than others. While victims can recover from injuries that may be caused by sideswipes or fender-benders, the following types of truck accidents often lead to life-threatening injuries:
- Head-on collisions: momentum of truck often causes devastation to front-end of passenger vehicle and can result in concussion, facial injury or neck and back injuries
- Underride accidents: passenger vehicle slides beneath truck, often at mid-windshield height, causing severe damage to roof of vehicle, and can result in brain injury, skull fracture or decapitation
- Rear-end collisions: improperly judging stopping distance often results in a passenger vehicle rear-ending a truck, or vise-versa, potentially resulting in occupant ejection, seat belt injuries or airbag injuries
- Jackknife accidents: often caused by brake failure and can result in side impact crash, which can result in rib and torso injury, internal injuries or life-threatening lacerations
The severity of one of these types of accidents is immediately increased if a large commercial vehicle is involved. When a loved one is lost due to a commercial trucking incident, many questions of safety come into play. Only an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you determine the most appropriate legal action. If you are pursuing justice for the death of a loved one that was killed in a truck accident, contact Greg Coleman Law today.
Contact Our Knoxville Wrongful Death Attorneys
Greg Coleman Law has experience in cases where truck accidents have caused property damage, life-threatening injuries and death. The loss of a family member has repercussions beyond psychological trauma, and can be crippling to a family.
If you have lost a loved one due to a collision with a commercial vehicle, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. Our attorneys understand the consequences of an untimely death and can give you legal guidance; you may be eligible to recover compensation for damages ranging from funeral expenses to loss of companionship.
Greg Coleman Laws legal team is equipped to file a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf, so you and your family can process your grief without the added stressors of legal involvement. Find out about your legal rights today call (865) 247-0080 to speak with a knowledgeable member of our intake team who will connect you to an attorney well-suited to your case. We are proud to serve Knoxville, the surrounding area and the state of Tennessee. Contact us today if you think you have a case and live in any of the following areas:
- Oak Ridges
- and surrounding cities and towns
Fill out the Free Case Review form at the top of this page for the quickest way to begin your claim evaluation.