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When big trucks crash

 At the Law Offices of Cliff Enten in Colorado, we know how dangerous a tractor-trailer can be if it crashes into you or you crash into it. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that about 10 percent of U.S. highway fatalities involve a large truck and you, as a passenger vehicle occupant, are most at risk for being fatally injured. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration adds that over 100,000 Americans are injured each year in truck accidents.

Not only does a tractor-trailer’s immense size make it a lethal vehicle per se on the roadways, its stopping distance when fully loaded is 20-40 percent longer than that of a passenger vehicle. That distance is further increased if road conditions are poor, such as during rain, snow or sleet, and/or if the truck’s brakes have not been properly maintained.

Given that a tractor-trailer can weigh 20-30 times as much as your passenger vehicle, you and your passengers are highly vulnerable for injury or death in a crash. In addition, the tractor-trailer is much taller than your vehicle. Smaller cars often wind up under the truck’s trailer in a crash.

Alarming statistics

In 2015, 3,852 people died in big truck crashes nationwide. The vast majority of these deaths, 69 percent, were people riding in a passenger vehicle. Truck drivers and occupants accounted for 16 percent of the deaths and motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians accounted for 15 percent.

Truck fatalities were the lowest ever in 2009, but had increased 22 percent by 2015. Tractor-trailers were involved in 75 percent of the 2015 deaths, with single-unit trucks accounting for only 25 percent of the fatalities. Twenty-three percent of all passenger vehicle deaths occurred as the result of multiple-vehicle crashes involving a large truck. For more information on this subject, please visit this page of our website.

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