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Trucking accidents are a common highway danger in Pennsylvania

It probably comes as no surprise that many people are injured each year in Pennsylvania in accidents involving large commercial trucks. Tractor-trailers are a common sight on interstates across the country, and their size and high speed make a deadly combination in crashes with smaller vehicles. The Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety report that from 2002 to 2011, 45,156 people were killed in the U.S. and more than one million were injured in accidents involving large trucks. This staggering number shows that injuries and deaths from trucking accidents are a big problem in the country.

A major highway danger

In 2010, there were 157 deaths related to heavy-truck accidents in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The United States Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that rear-end collisions, running off the road or out of the lane, driver fatigue and distraction are the most common causes of large truck accidents. And the sheer size of semi-trucks mean that people in smaller cars most often end up the ones hurt.

ABC News reported on the tragic deaths of a young mother from Levittown, and her 9-year-old and infant sons, when a tractor-trailer making an illegal U-turn hit their SUV. Her husband and the couple's 8-year-old daughter were hospitalized for their injuries.

The annual fatalities from commercial truck crashes in the U.S. add up to about one major airplane crash every two weeks. Other scary facts about tractor-trailer accidents include:

  • The yearly cost of commercial truck crashes in the U.S. is estimated to be over $83 billion.
  • Truck brakes are often not in the best working condition.
  • More than one in every five trucks inspected are taken out of service for dangerous operating problems.

Truck drivers who are distracted by food, drinks or cell phones, or who are overtired from long driving hours pose a major risk to every person who shares the road with them.

Contacting an attorney

The injuries from a commercial trucking accident can be catastrophic, and result in tens of thousands of dollars in medical care, ongoing therapy and long-term treatment. In addition, funeral expenses only add to a family's hardship and suffering. A family can also be impacted by a trucking accident from the loss of income when a victim is out of work to recover, or if a wage-earner has been killed.

People who have suffered injuries or the loss of a loved one from a trucking accident should call an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. An attorney can help explain their options, and will work hard to get accident victims the compensation they deserve.