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Trucking Accidents

Truck Accident Facts

The number of serious and fatal trucking accidents in Massachusetts has nearly doubled since 2004 while the number of people seriously injured has almost tripled, according to data collected by the Motor Carrier Management Information System.

In 2007, there were 1,689 serious or fatal crashes involving semis and large commercial trucks in Massachusetts, compared to 954 accidents in 2004. Injuries increased from 504 in 2004 to 1,327 in 2007.

Massachusetts Trucking Accidents

Tractor-trailer semis and other large commercial trucks are heavily regulated because an accident typically leads to serious injury or death of innocent motorists involved in a trucking accident.

Massachusetts truck accidents often result in serious injuries and complex legal claims involving the truck driver, one or more out-of-state trucking or leasing companies, and claims against corporations and insurance companies. If you or someone you love has been in an accident involving a commercial truck, semi or tractor-trailer in Massachusetts, call The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Chapdelaine, P.C., for a free appointment to discuss your rights.

Hiring a Massachusetts truck accident lawyer is a vital first step to protecting your rights and the financial well-being and future of you and your family.

Tractor-trailers take 40% longer to stop in an emergency and a fully-loaded semi can weigh 80,000 pounds, more than 20 times the weight of a 4,000-pound passenger car. In a Massachusetts semi accident, a motorist doesn’t stand a chance.

Truck drivers are blamed for more than half of the 141,000 trucking accidents each year and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that one in every 20 professional truck drivers will be involved in an accident.

The operation of large commercial trucks, tractor-trailers and semis are regulated precisely because of the dangers posed to motorists. Still, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates nearly half of all trucking accidents are the result of drug use and 25% are caused by speed.

Most of the top reasons for trucking accidents represent negligent behavior on the part of the at-fault driver:

  • Prescription drug use (26%)
  • Speed (23%)
  • Unfamiliarity with road (22%)
  • Other medication (18%)
  • Inadequate surveillance (14%)
  • Fatigue (13%)
  • Illegal maneuvers (9%)
  • Distraction (8%)
  • Inadequate evasive action (7%)
  • Aggressive driving (7%)

Truckers and trucking companies whose actions injure or kill innocent motorists can be held accountable for their actions through civil lawsuits. Trucking companies are required by law to maintain safe trucks and obey legal weight limits. But safety advocates continue to lobby against trucking practices of skirting weight limits and cutting costs on maintenance and safety inspections.

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety report that truckers are 50% more likely to be involved in a fatal accident per mile traveled than drivers of passenger vehicles. The group also reports that 98% of fatal injuries involving large trucks are sustained by occupants of smaller vehicles involved in the accident.

Other common reasons for Massachusetts trucking accidents include:

  • Improper backing
  • Violation of other federal or state trucking standards
  • Falsifying log books or failure to comply with work-hour regulations
  • Use of cellphone or another electronic device that leads to distraction
  • Failure to properly maintain truck
  • Unlicensed, under licensed or unqualified or inexperienced truck driver
  • Defective parts, including brakes and tires
  • Imbalanced loads

A Massachusetts trucking accident attorney can help investigate the cause of your accident, as well as the extent of your injuries and fight to get you and your family the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a Massachusetts semi accident, call Boston personal injury lawyer Jeffrey R. Chapdelaine at 617-404-1410 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.