Hutchinson, KS -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/19/2015 --Large semi-trucks, tractor trailers, and big rigs are involved in a growing number of accidents and fatalities each year. There are 170,000 people injured in large truck accidents annually, while 5,000 trucks are involved in accident fatalities (Semi Truck Accident Victims Center). According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, over 3,500 people died in 2013 due to accidents with large trucks. This was a 14 percent increase from 2009, which shows a clear rise in commercial trucking fatalities in the United States.
"The number one cause of commercial trucking accidents is truck driver error," says Scott Mann, auto accident attorney of Mann Law Offices. "Some truck drivers spend too many continuous hours on the road without stopping, or don't get enough sleep which causes fatigue. Other drivers suffer from substance abuse, which greatly affects their ability to safely operate their vehicle."
Commercial truck drivers who are either fatigued or driving under the influence may take unnecessary risks in traffic. The results are often tragic for other motorists. One out of eight auto accident fatalities are caused by a semi truck or tractor trailer (Semi Truck Accident Victims Center).
"Other causes of commercial trucking accidents are due to the truck's cargo being loaded improperly. This results in an uneven distribution of weight," says Mann. "It can make it difficult for a large truck to keep the cab and trailer going in the same direction — especially during sharp turns or lane changes."
Some commercial trucking companies do not follow basic safety standards in the upkeep of their vehicles. This means there are large commercial trucks on the road with faulty brakes and worn tires. When this is combined with inclement weather, construction sites, or uneven road surfaces, it makes it extremely difficult for large trucks to drive safely.
"Motorists need to be aware of the position of large trucks on the road," says Mann. "Don't follow too close behind them, drive in their blind spots, or try to pass them on the right. If you see a large truck driving erratically, then adjust your speed accordingly and try to keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the truck."