Posted On December 28, 2016 In Truck Accidents
Statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show 104,000 people were injured by truck accidents on American highways in 2012. Some of these people suffered permanent injuries that significantly decreased their quality of life. That is because semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles weigh many times that of a normal passenger car. In fact, federal regulations allow these trucks to weigh up to 80,000 pounds! When these large and heavy vehicles crash, the impact force is more likely to result in the following catastrophic injuries:
Truck accident survivors may suffer brain injuries caused by blunt force trauma or whiplash. During a crash, a motorist may be harmed by blunt force trauma caused by the head colliding with a window or steering wheel.
Depending on the severity and location of the injury, people with brain injuries can experience varying symptoms. Survivors may have problems speaking or understanding language (aphasia), issues with balance, poor impulse control or cognitive deficits.
Brain injuries may require accident survivors to undergo a lengthy period of rehabilitation. Many people with severe brain injuries do not leave the hospital for many months.
Accident survivors can also suffer spinal cord injuries. Depending on the severity of the injury, accident survivors may be partially or completely paralyzed. Spinal cord injuries can cause monoplegia (paralysis of one limb), paraplegia (paralysis of lower limbs), diplegia (paralysis of corresponding limbs), quadriplegia/tetraplegia (paralysis of all four limbs).
Spinal cord injuries almost always result in disability. Accident survivors with these injuries may be unable to return to their occupations and can experience a significantly decreased quality of life.
Those with tetraplegia may require round-the-clock care and extensive medical services. Home modifications and other specialized equipment may be necessary.
Injuries caused by truck accidents may result in amputation or disfigurement. Limbs can become caught in the twisted wreckage after an accident, cutting off blood flow. In other cases, the impact force from the collision may cut or crush limbs. Cuts caused by broken glass can become infected.
Facial disfigurement is also possible. Blunt force trauma may cut away facial tissue or cause broken bones.
Motorists can improve their chances of avoiding truck accidents and catastrophic injuries by taking preventative measures. This is especially important during this time of the year, when there are more drivers on the road.
NHTSA statistics show truck accidents spike before and after the Christmas holiday. According to NHTSA statistics collected between 2001 and 2005, there were an average of 45 truck accidents deaths each day during this period. There is also an increase in injuries caused by these accidents. This is because commercial drivers are making more deliveries to meet increased consumer demand. They may be pressured to ignore hours-of-service rules, putting them at risk for drowsy driving. Winter weather conditions also make driving more dangerous for commercial and non-commercial drivers.
Be sure to give trucks plenty of room to operate. Never tailgate trucks. Pass these larges vehicles as quickly as possible and never drive in their blind spots (in front of the truck, behind the truck and next to the truck cab).
If injured in a truck accident, it is important to explore legal options. Catastrophic injuries result in expensive medical and rehabilitation bills. These injuries also leave people unable to return to work, resulting in lost income. It is imperative that survivors consult with a truck accident attorney to explore legal options for pursuing damages.
Damages obtained from a judgment or settlement can help pay for medical costs, home modifications, equipment and lost income.