Accidents involving large trucks are very dangerous on America's roadways, including in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They can impose serious injuries and sometimes fatalities because trucks are heavier and larger than passenger vehicles. Because of this situation, federal agencies, such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, continue to conduct additional research on truck accidents with the hope that their findings will help curb the number of fatalities from truck accidents each year.
According to a Transportation Research Circular published in 2010, there are different factors contributing to large truck accidents. The researchers collected data from a nationwide sample of fatalities and injuries between 2001 and 2003. The analysis showed that each accident is associated with at least one large truck and led to at least one death or injury. Experts stated that several of the contributing factors involved the driver and the condition of the truck driver at the time of the accident.
The survey revealed that legal drugs, either prescription or over-the-counter, rarely contributed to the crashes. However, truck driver fatigue was a leading contributing factor in truck accidents. It was also revealed that 13 percent of truck drivers involved in crashes were fatigued when the incident occurred.
There have also been other studies conducted that examine the relative roles of passenger vehicles and the actions of truck drivers as contributors in truck accidents. In one study, it was stated that truck drivers' actions played a role in 55 percent of injuries and fatalities from accidents, while 45 percent of injuries and deaths were associated with the actions of another driver or a pedestrian.
In many cases, truck accidents are caused by the driver's lack of familiarity with the road, illness, drug abuse with illegal substances or driving under the influence. Truck accident victims should collect as much evidence as possible so that they can prove the cause of the accident.
Source: Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, "Major Contributing Factors to Large Truck Accident Risk," Accessed on Oct. 28, 2014