Dallas, Texas, 07/26/2017 /SubmitPressRelease123/
On the face of it, a good economy should have positive impacts, including more jobs, higher wages and more income for Americans. But studies have found that a good economy may actually be contributing to the higher rate of truck accidents in the U.S. And that is something that could pose a larger threat if the economic outlooks remain to climb.
“It doesn’t seem as if there would be any link between a good economy and truck wrecks,” stated leading Dallas Truck personal injury lawyer Amy Witherite, of 1-800-Truck-Wreck ® . “But if you dig a little deeper, what you’ll find is that as the economy improves, it has the net effect of creating a greater need for commercial trucks to haul more goods, which means a higher likelihood of truck wrecks on the road.”
You may be asking yourself: Why is this so important?
The short answer is that any situation that significantly increases the number of commercial trucks on the road should concern the public because more trucks mean more accidents.
The longer answer is that the Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts for 2015 (the latest report available) published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) had some alarming numbers.
For example, the report indicated that: “the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased [from 2014 to 2015] by 8 percent, from 3,749 to 4,050, and the large truck involvement rate (large trucks involved in fatal crashes per 100 million miles traveled by large trucks) increased by 8 percent, from 1.34 to 1.45.” (1)
Furthermore, Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) by large trucks increased by 0.3 percent from 2014 to 2015.
VMT will rise as more trucks get on the road, and as more trucks get on the road, the chances that they will get involved in wrecks increases.
Southern California As a Test Case
This has become evident in Southern California, home to the Los Angeles-to-Long Beach route that ranks as one of the most active port complexes in the U.S.
Per 89.3 KPCC, the scorching-hot economy has acted as a tide that lifts all boats, including the commercial trucking industry: (2)
“The number of trucks on the road has only increased as the economy has recovered, and after falling sharply during the recession, truck-involved crashes have been rising. They have also jumped as a share of all crashes on the road.”
In fact, just eight years ago, truck wrecks were at an all-time low, accounting for only 4.8 percent of all accidents in California.
But that number jumped to 5.6 percent by 2014, with more than 22,000 truck accidents in the state.
More trucks have made an already complex and dangerous driving situation on the highways of Southern California, even more hazardous.
Cars and trucks must share space on roads that are always congested with traffic and major renovations, and unsafe lane changes are one of the biggest contributing factors in accidents involving commercial trucks and passenger vehicles.
Genevieve Giuliano, an Urban Planning Professor at the University of Southern California, and Director of METTRANS Transportation Center identified the surge in the port trade that requires more trucks as a major source of accident risk on the roads.
Big-rig crashes can also exact a huge financial toll
In July of 2013, a gasoline tanker truck moving along the interchange between the 5 freeway and the 2 freeway tunnel in Elysian Valley near downtown Los Angeles, struck a guardrail after a tire failure.
The resulting spill of more than 8,500 gallons of gasoline created a fire that lasted for hours and shut the interchange for a staggering six months as workers made repairs at a price tag of $16.5 million.
Accidents involving large trucks cost states an average of $7 million when medical expenses, emergency services, and property damage, as well as lost wages, are taken into account. In comparison, the average fatal car accident tallies about $1.4 million.
Getting Your Life Back On Track
The psychological, emotional and physical effects of a wreck caused by a truck can last for years. That’s why the team at 1-800-Truck-Wreck ® is most concerned with how to restore your well being and keep your life running after this type of accident.
“I’ve suffered through several car wrecks,” stated Amy Witherite. “So I know how everything afterward can feel as if you’re in slow-motion, and that’s because everything in your life comes to a crashing halt. Let us take that burden off your shoulders and help get you back on your feet. We can do little things like making sure you get to your doctor or providing you with financial help until your settlement arrives.”
Eberstein Witherite, LLP