If truck accidents involving 18-wheelers and cars were boxing matches,
the referee would stop the proceedings before the opening bell. It just
wouldn’t be a fair fight. The average passenger car weighs about 3,200
pounds, while big rigs can tip the scales at 80,000 pounds.
When a 40-ton truck hits a car weighing two tons or less, the outcome is predictable. As we have seen
in the Joplin area, those people inside the smaller vehicle are much more
likely to sustain serious injuries or even to be killed than those inside
the commercial behemoth.
In 2012, a third of a million trucks were involved in crashes. Of the fatalities
in those crashes, nearly three-quarters were occupants of other vehicles,
while another 10 percent were not in either the truck or other vehicle
(they were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists). Eighteen percent
were inside the big rigs.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the 104,000 people injured in truck accidents, 73 percent were in
the other vehicles, just 3 percent were nonoccupants (motorcyclists, pedestrians,
bicyclists) and 24 percent were inside the large trucks (a third of those
injured inside the trucks were in single-vehicle accidents).
There were about 77,000 trucks involved in the injury accidents, which
was an increase of more than 20 percent over the previous year.
Here in Missouri, there were just over 1,100 vehicles involved in fatal
truck crashes in 2012. Across the country, nearly 4,000 people died in
truck accidents and just over 100,000 were injured in the crashes involving
large trucks (gross vehicle weight over 10,000 pounds).
For those injured in those crashes, statistics have become realities loaded
with medical expenses, surgeries, lost income and other damages. Experienced
personal injury attorneys can help victims pursue compensation for their