Semi-Truck Accidents Highlight Need for Awareness and Safety

A recent semi-truck accident in Denver serves as a reminder that when driving on our highways and streets, it is important for individual motorists to be careful and practice safe driving habits. It also reminds all of us of the the often careless, reckless and negligent conduct of semi-truck drivers and the companies that employ them.

The Denver Post reported on Monday, August 28, 2006, that a semi-truck driver, who may have run a red light, crashed into six vehicles at the height of rush hour in the Southeast Denver area. As reported by The Denver Post, the individuals in the other vehicles sustained severe injuries and one person was in critical condition.

In Colorado and across the country, truck accident statistics serve as a warning of the dangers of accidents between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2004, the following Colorado truck accident statistics are known:

  • 69 fatalities in collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles
  • 1,917 non-fatal crashes between large trucks and passenger vehicles
  • 570 large trucks were involved in injury collisions with smaller vehicles
  • 804 reported injuries from collisions involving large trucks

Information shows that some common causes of truck accidents may include:

  • Driver error
  • Failure to inspect brakes or equipment
  • Improper training and supervision
  • Violation of Hours of Service Requirements
  • Alcohol and drug violations
  • Driver fatigue
  • Aggressive drivers
  • Cell phone use
  • Inexperience
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating

The companies that employ semi-truck drivers often fail to conduct the required safety and background checks on the drivers, and they may fail to properly train their employees to drive their trucks. A truck company may be responsible for the negligent acts of its drivers, therefore in any trucking accident it is critical to investigate whether the trucking company followed the proper policies and procedures and laws in ensuring the safety of its drivers and the safety of other motorists sharing the roadways with their drivers.

The following tips may help you and your family avoid a dangerous collision with a semi-truck:

  • Keep visible. Stay out of the truck’s blind spots. Always stay far enough behind a truck to see both of the truck’s side mirrors.
  • Maintain a safe distance to ensure that there is enough space and time to brake.
  • Drive defensively.
  • Use signals to turn or pass.
  • Avoid sudden moves such as swerving to pass.

For more tips and information about semi-trucks and truck accidents, please visit the truck accident attorney section of our website or click on the video center located on our home page to hear from Bachus & Schanker, LLC attorneys about semi-truck accidents.