This past Friday (Jan. 3), a tractor trailer crash shut down all southbound lanes on I-75 just north of Knox County, when a semi broadsided an abandoned Nissan Pathfinder on the side of the road and crashed into several trees. The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) reported that the wreck happened right around sundown—a common time for these kinds of accidents as the sun gets in drivers’ eyes.
The driver, 61 year old Joe Collins, was flown by helicopter to UT Medical in Knoxville to be treated for his injuries.
While this accident is frightening, the fact that there were no fatalities and no other vehicles involved is being considered extremely fortunate and—as one recent study discovered—increasingly rare.
New data published by the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion suggests that trucks are responsible for a lot of accidents and road deaths per year. Vehicle accidents, as a whole, are one of the leading causes of death in America, and trucks are one of the top contributors.
For the study, researchers poured over data taken from a Tennessee sample, which included 1,134 truck crashes over a 5-year period. 101 wrecks involved single-vehicles, while the lion’s share of crashes—1,033—were multiple vehicle accidents.
By categorizing the accidents based on severity and the characteristics of the crash (weather, road conditions, speed, etc.), they were able to determine that annually trucks cause an estimated 4,500 deaths in the U.S. Even though trucks only make up about 8% of highway traffic in the country, they are involved in about 11% of all fatal crashes.
One major factor of fatal truck accidents is speed. Once trucks reach over 45 mph, the risk of a fatal crash doubles. Other significant factors are gender (males are more likely to speed and drive aggressively), driving impaired, weather and type of vehicle.
Although Tennessee ranks second in the nation for truck safety inspections, the state repeatedly has a truck accident fatality rate that is 30 percent above the national average. And unfortunately, personal injury litigation in these types of cases can be complicated.
If you were injured in a crash involving a semi truck or tractor trailer, or a loved one was killed in a truck accident, call a Knoxville truck injury attorney at Gilreath & Associates immediately for an in-depth evaluation of your case.
Our Tennessee-based firm is a member of the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America, so with us you can count on getting the best legal representation for truck accident compensation. Call today to schedule a free consultation.