The number of tractor trailers on U.S. roadways is expected to grow, which may cause more large truck accidents, deaths and catastrophic injuries.

Large tractor trailers fill Illinois roadways, delivering essential goods across the state and throughout the country. While Illinois motorists drive alongside these massive vehicles on a daily basis, they may not be fully aware of the dangers tractor trailers can bring. An increase of negligent truck drivers and trucking companies across America has led to a rise in the national large truck accident fatality rate. As the American economy continues to improve, the American Trucking Association explains that motorists may see even more tractor trailers filling U.S. roadways. This could cause a further increase in the number of large truck accidents, catastrophic injuries and deaths that occur each year.

The facts

In 2012, the latest year for which statistics are available through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,802 people were killed and 104,000 people were injured in large truck accidents. This is up from the 3,211 people who were killed in similar accidents in 2009. Approximately 115 deaths from large truck accidents occurred in Illinois alone in 2012. That same year, more than 171,000 truck drivers and over 2.1 million large trucks were taken out of service because they had too many violations, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Some believe that there are simply not enough qualified truckers to move the growing amount of freight waiting to be distributed throughout the U.S.

Increase in freight: Shortage of truckers

If the U.S. economy continues to improve as expected, the ATA predicts that the amount of freight tonnage will increase by 23.5 percent by the year 2025. Although this is good news for the economy, it may equate to bad news for trucking companies who are experiencing a shortage of truck drivers. In order to keep up with this increased demand, American trucking companies will need to fill an average of 100,000 new truck driver positions each year. However, Bloomberg Business reported that many potential American truck drivers are looking for other positions that pay more money and allow them to stay at home with their families.

Some trucking companies have resorted to scheduling their truckers overtime or encourage long drive times as a way to meet stringent deadlines and move more freight. Trucking companies may fail to properly screen drivers and provide improper training to new drivers. These illegal practices have put the lives of motorists and pedestrians in danger. Drunk, distracted, drowsy and otherwise negligent truckers present a heightened risk for American motorists.

Seeking legal assistance

People who have been involved in a large truck accident may suffer from catastrophic injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage and even paralysis. When people cannot return to work because of their injuries, they may suffer from excessive medical expenses and lost wages. An established personal injury attorney may help you explore all of your legal options and get you maximum compensation for your case.

Keywords: truck, accident, injury