If your job, school or other obligations make it necessary for you to take Georgia roads or highways on a regular basis, you probably see more than your share of accidents and near misses. High way speeds seem to be getting faster, and drivers have little room for recklessness or mistakes. You may also share the road with trucks, buses and other large vehicles that may make the ride even more harrowing at times.
You might be relieved to know that the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that the overall number of fatalities in traffic accidents nationwide has dropped over the past year. This is good news, considering the trend has seen the numbers steadily climbing. Unfortunately, while the general statistics are promising, there is one dark shadow looming in the details.
Truck accidents on the rise
Although fewer people died on the nation's highways in the last year, more fatal accidents involved tractor-trailers and large trucks than any other category. While the average number of miles traveled rose just over 1 percent and overall traffic deaths dropped by 2 percent, those fatalities that occurred in accidents involving large trucks rose a startling 9 percent. Traffic accidents with single-unit trucks rose nearly 19 percent.
While all of these statistics may be just numbers to some people, if your loved one was among the more than 37,000 people who died in fatal accidents over the past year, you may be feeling a special grief in knowing that the rate of accidents with trucks keeps rising.
Why so many truck accidents?
The data shows that almost all other categories experienced a decline in fatalities, including speeding accidents, alcohol-related crashes and incidents involving pedestrians. Nevertheless, trucks and large vehicles continue to cause catastrophic accidents, and the data does not include those who suffered life-altering injuries. You may realize how much damage a large truck or tractor-trailer can cause if the driver is impaired, distracted or makes a critical error in judgment.
The NHTSA study presents only the numbers and does not analyze the data. However, if you suffered an injury or lost a loved one in an accident with a large truck, you have the right to obtain answers to your questions. You also have the right to pursue compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other costs associated with your losses. Seeking the assistance of an attorney is the first step you can take to rebuilding your life.