Law Offices of Michael J. Schneider a professional corporation
907-331-3549 Anchorage, Alaska Personal Injury Law Firm
In the section

When big trucks crash

Being involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer is particularly dangerous in Alaska given the snow and ice so common on roads throughout the state during much of the year. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that nationwide, about 10 percent of highway fatalities involve a truck crash. By far the greatest number of victims are the drivers and other occupants of smaller passenger vehicles. Of the 3,852 people who died in truck crashes in 2015, 69 percent were in passenger vehicles, 16 percent were in the trucks themselves and 15 percent were motorcyclists, bicyclists or pedestrians.

It is not surprising that passenger vehicle occupants are most at risk for serious injury and death in a big truck crash. These behemoths can weigh 20-30 times as much as a car. GTG Technology Group points out that whereas most passenger vehicles weigh about 4,000 pounds, the weight of an 18-wheeler approaches 80,000 pounds. In addition, a fully loaded tractor-trailer can take up to 40 percent farther than a car to stop after the brakes are applied. This distance can increase dramatically when road conditions are bad, such as wet, slippery, snow packed or icy.

Driver Error

As is the case in virtually any type of vehicle crash, the number one cause of car-truck crashes is driver error. What may be more surprising, however, is which driver is the one in error. Studies have shown that passenger vehicle drivers are at fault in over 80 percent of car-truck crashes.

When the truck driver is the one at fault, it is likely that he or she was driving while drowsy or otherwise distracted. Despite stringent regulations requiring commercial drivers to stay behind the wheel for only prescribed periods, taking breaks and making rest stops at regular intervals, many drivers refuse to abide by such rules, going so far as to falsify their logs in order to drive longer than legally allowed. Cellphone usage is likewise a major problem among truck drivers, just as it is within the general driving population.

All Alaska drivers, both commercial and private, would do well to give each other plenty of room on the road. It also goes without saying that obeying all traffic laws and minimizing driver distractions are crucial keys to maintaining safe roadways.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • "He is very professional and is the best at what he does - believe me. Our settlement was nearly five times what the opposition offered us." — Clint Q.
  • "I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart ... Words cannot express the gratitude I have for the gift you have given me " — Sincerely, Lacey T.
  • "I met Michael Schneider after a tragic auto accident took the life of a loved one. We were lost in more ways than one. Mike guided us through the maze of " — Kathy O.
  • "It is with pleasure that I give Michael Schneider my recommendation. Mike represented me in a personal injury lawsuit. " — Clint Q.
  • "About three years ago we were in a motorcycle versus motor-home vehicle accident. We were both very seriously injured. " — Phil and Mary W.
  • "I thank you so much. I am very grateful for the time and effort you put into my case. The money really helps us out in what has been a very difficult situation " — Lonnie B.
  • "It has been a long time but I have thought of you guys over the years and always am so grateful to you. " — Tristene and Jason