As personal injury attorneys serving victims of car, truck and motorcycle accidents, I and my colleagues are sensitive to the pain and suffering that can result from even the most innocuous of traffic accidents. Whether a person is injured in the Baltimore area, or over in Gaithersburg, Rockville or even Washington, D.C., we are available for consultation with victims of slip-and-fall mishaps, automobile collisions and even pharmacy errors and injuries received at nursing homes in the area.
For those who have been unlucky enough to be caught in a roadway wreck with a large commercial vehicle, such as a semi tractor-trailer hauling heavy loads, or an urban delivery vehicle such as a UPS or FedEX box truck, we understand how serious and even life-threatening injuries can easily happen to a driver or his passengers. And regardless of whether the injured parties are adults or children hurt in a car crash, the serious of the situation is never lost on personal injury lawyers like ourselves.
While many people go through life relatively unconcerned about their safety on Maryland roadways, the fact remains that there are many drivers currently on our streets and highways who have little or no regard for the well-being of others with whom they may be sharing the road. Aggressive drivers, taxi and hire-car drivers, and even professional truckers may be among those whose actions can spell danger and certain injury to many innocent motorists throughout our state.
Believe it or not, more than a few Maryland residents have been seriously hurt, maimed or killed by inattentive, thoughtless or just plain negligent drivers operating commercial vehicles. And, the larger the motor vehicle, the worse the injuries can be, especially at expressway speeds. Every once in a while we remind ourselves just how significant trucking-related collisions are in this country. If only for the fact that commerce requires a great deal of goods and merchandise to be shipped every day, we should all be aware of the constant threat of potential injury due to a serious commercial vehicle accident.
If we look at accident statistics from several years back, it’s instructive to note that there are more than 100,000 non-fatal trucking-related road accidents annually in the U.S. That’s more than 2,000 truck crashes in every state each year. Yet of the more than 40,000 fatal traffic accidents annually, less than 10 percent involve a commercial truck. For instance, in 2008, there were “only” 3,900 deaths caused by a trucking-related crash. We’ll add that it’s generally accepted that large trucks are more often than not to be involved in a fatal traffic collision than a passenger vehicle.
Serious injury or fatal accidents involving a commercial truck occur once every 15-20 minutes in this country. A percentage of these incidents are the fault of the trucker himself, though some are the result of the passenger car driver as well. In any case, it is important to remember that tangling with a 20-ton big rig is not always going to turn out well for occupants of a much smaller sedan, minivan or SUV.
Be safe and consider the consequences of riding too close to these behemoths on the roadway. Give than a wide berth and don’t assume that their drivers are going to see you in time before an accident happens. As with all potentially dangerous traffic situations, it is better to be safe than sorry; the pain and misery that you may be sparing yourself and your passengers will be more than sufficient reward for being cautious from the get-go.